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Third Series: Religious Influences 






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• • :• .G. Normain fc Son, Pnntcrt, Floral Street, London 

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Table of Contents 

CHAPTER I. DEPTPORD (with Sketch Map) ... ... 3-40 

(i) Gbnbral Charactsr of Popux^tion Page 3 

(2) Old Dbptford Parisbss ... ... xx 

(3) nxwbr dsptford ... ... 22 

(4) The Soutbbrn and Wxstbrn Parishes 28 

(5) Local Administration ... ... ... •. 37 

CHAPTER n. GREENWICH (wUh Sketch Map) ... 4i-74 

(i) Introductory ... 

(2) The Poor Part of Wbst Grxxnwich 

(3) Thb Rbm aindbr of West Greenwich 

(4) East Greenwich 

(5) East Greenwich (continued) ... 

(6) Local Administration 

Coloured Map of Deptford and GrtinwUh, with Notts and List 

0/ Places of Worship 


PLUMSTEAD (with Sketch Map) 8i-iJ3 

^I^ v^HARLTON ... ... ... ... 

(2) Three Aspects of Woolwich 

(3) Religious Effort in Woolwich 

(4) Plumstbad ... .*• ... ... 

(5) Various Opinions 

(6) Social Influences ... 

(7) Local Government, Ac 

Coloured Map, with NoUs and List of Places of Worship 


















EAST) ... ... ... ... ... •.• ••• X39*'4^ 



PART II. THE SOUTH-WEST (with Sketch Map) 


(i) NiNB Elms and Neighbourhood ... ... Page 149 

(a) From Battbrsba Park to Lavbndbr Hill... „ 156 

(3) Old Battbrsxa and thx Rivbr Sidb „ 161 

(4) Local Administration ... ... ... „ 173 


(i) From thb Rbligious Point of Vibw ... Page 176 

(2) From thb Homb Point of Vibw ... 186 

(3) Clapham to Kbnnington ... ... ... •• Z90 

CoUmrtd Map of Battersea and Clafham, with Notes and List of 
Places of Worship in the South-West 

(i) Thb Vallby of thb Wandlb ... Page 197 

\mj &UTNBY ... .*• ... ... ... ... II 207 

(3) Local Administration , 216 

Coloured Map, with Descriptive Notes 


yv hto L J •.« ••• •.• ..• ... ... ... 22i»23® 



Date of flu Inquiry in this District : 1900 


During the nther long period necessarily occupied in completing this 
work, various changes have taken place. Wherever possible, the 
more important of these have been indicated, but otherwise the fiicts 
have not been corrected to date of publication. 




On the south bank of the Thames one passes from 
Bermondsey to Rotherhithe, and from Rotherhithe to 
Deptford, and from Deptford to Greenwich, and thence 
to Woolwich and Plumstead, where finally London ends, 
really as well as nominally. Elsewhere it is different. 
Beyond Poplar lies Gmning Town, Bow extends into 
Stratford, and from Clapton one crosses the Lea 
Valley into Leyton ; while Walthamstow, Tottenham, 
Hornsey and Finchley to the north, Willesden to 
the north-west, Acton and Ealing and Chiswick to 
the west, Wimbledon to the south-west, and Penge 
due south, are all actually extensions of London. The 
South-East has its only parallel at Putnev, where, 
beyond the open areas of Roehampton and Barnes, 
there lie indeed a series of riverside towns and villages, 
but these are hardly to be considered an extension of 
London any more than is Croydon or even Brighton. 
The striking peculiarity of South-East London is that 
not only do the houses come to an end within the 
metropolitan boundary, but that in a manner they 
do so three times over. Docks and railways make 
a distinct break between Rotherhithe and Deptford ; 
the Creek and the Ravensbourne sever Deptford from 
V I * 


Greenwich ; whilst Woolwich and Plumstead make in 
effect a town by themselves, with streets ending every- 
where in common land or open fields, excepting towards 
the river. 

All these places formed in truth a chain of old 
marine villages now linked, or becoming gradually 
linked, with London through a common hinterland, 
but otherwise still curiously isolated. 

Deptford proper consists of two parts. There is 
Old Deptford lying between the Creek and the High 
Street, compact with an ancient poverty which extends 
in some measure to the south of Deptford Broadway 
by the side of Mill Lane and Tanner's Hill ; and 
there is New Deptford (which includes part of New 
Cross) consisting, to use legal language, of *all that 
piece or parcel of land to the west of the High Street 
and east of the L. B. & S. C. Railway, with the houses 
and messuages thereon,' most of these having been 
built in quite recent years on fields or market gardens. 
The district is cut up by branching railway lines, which, 
unfortunately, have been constructed at so low a level 
that roads cannot conveniently be carried under them, 
thus adding much to the diflficulties of local life. 
In this newer part, which is now all built over, there 
are a few poor streets, including one notorious spot, 
but the great bulk of the houses have been specially 
built for and are occupied by comfortable working- 
class fiimilies. To the south lies the remainder of 
New Cross, including the well-to-do districts of 
Hatcham and Brockley, which, though portions of 
the civil parish of St. Paul, hardly count as Deptford. 
Here, building is still going on, but it is all of middle- 
class character, and so far as the erection of new 
houses is concerned, there is no room for working- 
class extension. A hope, however, is expressed by one 
of our witnesses that the growing pressure on 
house room in the north may be relieved by the 

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conversion to working-class flats of some large un- 
occupied houses in the southern part of the tx)rough. 

Old Deptford itself may be said to be divided into 
two parts by the railway, that on the river side near 
Deptford Green still retaining the picturesque charm 
of red tiled small-windowed houses, which is lacking 
altogether in the depressing district to the south. 
The inhabitants difier also. North of the railway and, 
even more definitely, north of Creek Road, there is 
a certain old-established solidity about the conditions 
of life even among the poorest. The bulk of the 
population are waterside workers or those employed at 
the cattle market. They are a careless, hand to mouth 
class ; heavy drinkers, rather rough, but not criminaUy 
disposed ; and a peculiarity of mis district being the 
large number of fully licensed houses, their taste for 
drink is very amply met. The neighbourhood has 
seen better days : houses of three storeys which have 
been good femily residences are now occupied as 
tenements. An extract from our notes on one of the 
streets, the worst, will help to show how great the fall 
has been : ^ Rough women are on the doorsteps, one 
of them with a b^daged head, others with black eyes. 
Shoeless children run about, and an old harridan sits 
smoking a clay pipe. The prevailing dirt makes itself 
felt by a faint foetid smell, only over-powered in places 
by disgusting stenches.' This is the bottom. Above 
this lie various degrees of badness, and also much that 
is quiet and respectable. In Armada Street the London 
County Council has, not without incurring hostile 
local criticism, built several blocks of well arranged 
dwellings which are a refreshing contrast to some 
others that might be mentioned, and which have also 
been specially constructed for working-class occupation. 
St. Nicholas' Garden, on the north side of Wellington 
Street, within a stone's throw of the beautiful old 
tower of St. Nicholas* Church, is well stocked with 


shady trees and has been extended to Benbow Street, 
the northern portion being set apart as a children's 
playground. Something has been done, and more 
may yet be done to make this bit of London again 
a pleasant place of habitation. 

Nor is the part which lies between Creek Road 
and the railway at all beyond such possibility, with 
St. Paul's Church and the open space attached to it 
as a centre, and enlivened by the gay rush of traffic 
eastward along Creek Road and southward by the 
High Street. Here one still finds a few vacant 
spaces. At the end of one court there is even a ^ small 
detached, one-storey cottage, with a large vegetable 
garden and a notice " new laid eggs for sale ;" but with 
this may be contrasted a little cemented square of six 
houses * in one of which a murder was committed a 
few months ago,' and by the Creek side there are 
various works, *some rather redolent,' dealing with 
asphalt, tar, and artificial manures. 

South of the railway there is less variety, and little 
to mitigate the discomfort of low life exampled in 
such spots as Giffin Street, Regent Street and Hale 
Street. The criminal element is stronger than to the 
north, and living here are many prostitutes of very 
low type. 

The police recognise that there has been a general 
improvement throughout the district, resulting in less 
violence and crime ; there are fewer charges at the 
police court, but to the eye it looks no better, nor 
does it seem any less poor than ten years ago. 

Mill Lane, lying south of the Broadway, contained 
one of the worst spots in Deptford. What remains 
of it is still bad, but the greater part is down and the 
inhabitants dispersed. The street consisted mainly of 
common lodging-houses, harbouring a floating popula- 
tion, and it is probable that their dispersal has 
injuriously affected the neighbourhood in the Regent 


Street area of Christ Church. There have also been 
clearances near Tanner's Hill, and others arc possible 
which may sweep away entirely the remaining patches 
of poverty which the map shows there amid the 
otherwise prosperous district to the south of New 
Cross Road. 

The part of Deptford lying west of the High Street, 
though it may be divided into several sections, exhibits 
on the whole a uniform character. While to the east 
poverty and various shades of low life prevail, and 
show little change for the better, to the west there is 
general prosperity, and in many parts a marked 
improvement has taken place during the past ten or 
twelve years. At one time some parts or this region 
suffered from an excess of houses, for building outran 
the demand, and the pecviliar dangers of this form 
of speculation were incurred. When there were two 
houses for every possible tenant neither houses nor 
tenants were kept in order. Any occupant was accept- 
able, and with twenty other houses to be had for the 
asking, tenants did not care whether they remained or 
not. Rents sank very low, and the houses went to 
pieces. The result was ruinous to the owner, and 
brought no comfort to the occupier ; but now, with 
higher rents, everyone is better off. A growing popu- 
lation has filled the houses ; the landlords, having 
a choice, are able to reject or evict bad tenants ; good 
ones hesitate to leave ; order and decency rule. The 
property has benefited, but so have the occupiers, the 
higher rents representing better value to them as well 
as to the landlord. 

Here and there a street has been degraded beyond 
redemption. Streaks of purple and patches of blue 
may be seen on the map, which shows also one street 
as bad as anything on the other side of the High Street. 
I allude to Baildon Street, which, though reported by 
the police as better, looked to us as black as ever. 


a view confirmed by the City missionary who visits 
there, and who considered that the spot had become 
worse since the Mill Lane demolitions. On the whole, 
the colour of the district on our map is pink, and the 
bulk of the inhabitants are of the type that this colour 
represents. In describing the efforts made to touch 
the religious sense of these people, I shall be able 
to show incidentally what manner of men they are. 

The Hatcham Park Estate, which lies to the west 
of the railway lines, leads on to the middle-class 
district to the south. Passing westward from Deptford, 
the status of the people appears to rise gradually, 
culminating in this estate. It is the home or the well- 
to-do dass of working men, of clerks, and others in 
regular employ, many.of whom have probably bought 
the leases of their houses. Some of these houses 
accommodate two families, while in other cases, unless 
the family is large, a lodger may be taken. The streets 
are wide and the houses well kept, with nice gardens. 
A general aspect of comfort and respectability 
characterizes the place. The women are well dressed, 
and though the number of children doubtless must 
be great, they are not seen, for they do not play in 
the streets. On the estate itself there are only two 

f)ublic-houses ; but there are several shops with grocers' 
icences, and some public-houses are to be found in 
the neighbouring main road. 

Beyond the middle-class district which slopes up 
to Telegraph Hill lie the open fields of undeveloped 
London, into which population is extending alongside 
of the railway, and here there are some patches of 
poverty, each one doubtless with its special history, 
each one open to explanation, could we seek it out. 




(a) Work of the Religious Bodies 

St Nicholas, St. Paul and Christ Church are the old 
Deptford parishes. The first, with its antique church, 
is pure Deptford ; but, by what appears a strange 
fatuity, it has been annexed to the municipality of 
Greenwich, with which it is only linked by Creek 
Bridge. The old waterside element found in St. 
Nicholas is present also in St. Paul's, but half St. Paul's 
parish lies to the west of the High Street and while 
the southern portion falls more mto line with Christ 
Church, the northern part is widely different in 
character, being hardly distinguishable from St. Luke's. 

In the parish of St. Nicholas the Church of England 
has been unfortunate. Some scandal there has been 
in the past — some hopelessness leading to inaction, 
and some downright neglect. Thus the present curate 
in charge has had uphill work. When he came the 
church was empty and the work of the church prac- 
tically dead, even the Sunday schools being managed 
by the ky element without any intervention of the 
Clergy. But the people are found to be pleasant and 
friendly and far from hopeless to work among, the 
account given of them confirming what we have 
already stated. They are for the most part poor, 
and in many cases rough-mannered and drunken, but 
are largely a settled population, who have lived here 
for years, and even for generations — not vicious or 
criminal in any way, ' and as different from the low 
poor of Christ Church as chalk from cheese.' 

The old church is no longer empty ; it gathers the 
usual *one hundred' in the morning and the usual 
*two hundred' in the evening, and finds proof of 
earnestness among those who attend in the large 


proportion of communicants. The Sunday school 
(from which the parson is no longer excluded) has 
filled up its ranks ; and acquaintance vhth the people 
in their daily lives is obtained by visiting, in connection 
with a Provident Bank which counts eight hundred 
depositors. If too much be not expected, this may 
be called success ; but the curate in charge feels the 
insecurity of his position and, hampered by lack of 
workers and funds, imagines (perhaps quite vainly) 
that if he were better equipped a great deal more 
could be done. He mentions especially the lack of 
organizations to deal with the boys who swarm about 
the streets at night. 

The Primitive Methodists have a tiny chapel in 
Creek Road which is linked with two others. One 
of these has already been mentioned in Rotherhithe, 
the other is in Hatcham Park, outside of the district 
we are now dealing with. Each chapel has a small 
but earnest membership, and engages in Sunday school 
work. There is also a small Mission Hall in Hughes 
Fields, but otherwise, apart from the Church of 
England, the religious work here has its origin outside, 
consisting of efforts made by the Congregational 
Church in the High Street to serve their poor 

In Christ Church parish, which is the part we have 
described as almost irredeemable and unmitigated in 
its low life, we find an elderly vicar and an empty 
church, with small Sunday schools and very little 
activity of any kind, beyond constant visiting. The 
vicar is * always about' among his people. He 
admits, however, that from a spiritual point of view 
*you can't get at them.' The mothers' meetings, 
which are large, he characterizes as * artificial,' The 
people living in the poorer streets, who form nearly 
the whole population, are exhaustively catalogued as 
* labourers, dockers, carmen, costers, hawkers, wood- 


cutterSy laundresses, shirt and button-hole nukers, 
bottle washers, flower girls, lace sellers, toy nukers, 
cripples, mendicants, and prostitutes ' — the last chxefljr 
in Stanhope Street The failure of the Church here 
is patent, so much so that the Church Pastoral Aid 
grant has been withdrawn, on the ground that ^no 
one came to church,* yet it may be doubted whether 
a greater exhibition of 'vigour* would really effect 
anything more, from the spiritual point of view, 
among these 'ungodly, but not infidel' people, than 
does the constant kindly presence of a good and, in 
his own way, a hard-working old man. It is rather 
on the material and social side that something more 
might be accomplished (and something, perhaps, left 
undone) with advantage. In place of a provident 
collecting bank, as at Sl Nicholas, we find here much 
'ticket relief,* and some pride shown in the numbers 
helped. ' I don't pretend to help them permanendy,* 
the vicar admitted. He will not allow that his 
people are as black as they are painted. He stands 
up for them, and they, I feel sure, would stand up 
for him. 

The Sunday school work, pardy abandoned by the 
Church in this, so to say, benighted parish, has been 
assumed by the Deptfbrd Ragged School and Mission 
in Giffin Street. This old-established institution does 
not lack vigour, and employs about seventy voluntary 
workers, its honorary secretary, a brisk business-like 
man in early middle life, describes the population 
much as did the vicar. He has worked here as 
a volunteer for twenty years, and says he finds but 
litde change in that period, for though, individually, 
half the people are continually shifting, the general 
character remains much the same. He, too, says that 
'although we do a lot of work, we merely fouch the 
people.* The children, however, attend the school in 
large numbers, and many of the women, drawn mainly 


from the more permanent inhabitants, come to their 
meetings. It is also claimed that a considerable number 
of the children remain under religious influence. To 
this end there is a very large sewing class for girls 
and young women, at which some two hundred and 
eighty muster every Monday evening — encouraged to 
come by liberal prize giving for cleanliness, punctuality, 
&c., and by the customary treats. The mothers* 
meeting too, though of a religious character, has 
pecuniary advantages attached, and it is candidly 
admitted that, *with so much cadging and hypocrisy 
about,' it is not easy to know who are and who are 
not genuinely amenable to religious influence. In no 
way can much be done with the men, and this is true 
even of the most permanent inhabitants. The men 
will not come with the women, and thus separate 
accommodation, the expense of which cannot be met, 
is described as essential. Such is the explanation put 
forward, but it does not come near the root of the 
matter, which is simply that Ragged School Gospel- 
mission work in London never finds value in the 
eyes of the men. More encouraging and fruitful is 
the special work undertaken among crippled children — 
part of a widespread movement with which we have 
come in contact in various parts of London. No 
fewer than two hundred and forty-seven cripples are 
on the books of this mission. 

The inactivity of the Church in the parish of Christ 
Church has been accompanied also by incursions from 
other religious bodies. *Some time ago' (says the 
vicar) *the only workers were Church of England, 
Congregationalist, and Roman Catholic ; ' now all sorts 
are trying — ^and he feels that in religion such competition 
is fatal. The poor parts of Deptford are, indeed, 
a veritable * Tom Tiddler's ground ' for missions, and 
we hear of one woman busy * at the wash-tub ' calling 
out, * You are the fifth this morning 1 ' 



St. Paulas parish is, in its way, a religious centre. 
On either hand, as one walks up or down the High 
Street, are churches of various denominations — Wes- 
leyans and Congregationalists, Roman Catholics and 
the Society of Friends, with various mission buildings 
in the side streets, and a Baptist church hard by in 
Octavius Street. The parish church itself — a stately 
pillared temple approached through a sacred grove — 
stands a litde back from the road to the east of the 
High Street, the district it serves lying mosdy to 
the west. It possesses a strong organization — three 
curates, *an invaluable nursing sisterhood,* thirty 
district visitors, thirty to forty Sunday school teachers, 
and a large choir. ^In a moderate and reasonable 
way,* the rector has introduced somewhat High prac- 
tices, which are apparendy not objected to. Though 
rather empty on Sunday morning, the church is filled 
at night, and there are no fewer than five hundred 
communicants. The * regular things* are actively 
worked. Sunday schools and penny bank, Bible- 
classes, mothers' meetings, working girls' club, men's 
club, provident club, slate club; all backed up by 
systematic visiting and considerable charitable relief, 

* mainly by ticket,* but much embarrassed by over- 
lapping, due to the varieties of religious effort put 
forth by other churches, of which there are reckoned 

* thirteen schismatics.* This account is confirmed from 
the other side. The minister of one of the Noncon- 
formist bodies tells us that the churches, especially 
St. PauFs, are very active, taking from them *all 
they can by promises or threats. Truly a * fetal 
competition,* as the vicar of Christ Church called it. 
There is no want of friendliness with the Church of 
England, but, as is the case with all High Churches, 
co-operation is impossible. 

With the exception of the Roman Catholics, all the 
Nonconformist churches draw their financial support 


from the west of the High Street, if not from further 
still. The numbers, nowhere very large, are greatest 
with the Congregationalists, whose church is actually 
in Christ Church parish, but with them are falling 
away owing to removals, and many who come from 
a distance are only held together by a regard for old 
associations, the pastor having been here for twenty-five 
years. Moreover, it is an historic church, dating from 
1460. It was once very influential, and is still a con- 
siderable power. But the richer people leave, and the 
respectable classes, among the not rich, cannot stand the 
language of the streets nor the sights at night, dread 
to bring up their children in such surroundings, and 
tend also to go. Thus the congregation is not what 
it was, and only claims that * others are no better off 
than we,' adding * nor worse.' There are a good number 
of workers. Besides the operations of the central 
church, there are other schools and a mission hall in 
St. Nicholas' parish. The parent congregation, which is 
not now very numerous, but from which a considerable 
number of workers is forthcoming, includes a proportion 
of higher working class, Board School teachers, and 
others of lower middle class. 

The Baptists here are a small body, but work very 
hard and make their church attractive with an excellent 
choir. They have services of song in winter, and hold 
a very good open-air meeting on Sunday evenings in 
summer at the corner of Douglas Street ; they, too, 
complain of the adverse effect of removals. There is 
also a minute community of ' General Baptists,' who 
are in effect Unitarians. The present minister claims to 
have doubled the attendance. Even when thus doubled 
it consists of but five or six adults and a few children 
in the morning, and some twenty-five or at most thirty 
adults at night. The congregation, such as it is, is 
working class. They have one hundred children in 
their Sunday school. The chapel (a very old one, 


datii^ hafdk from the ConmiQovaldi} 3 irIEag!T 
fix* social puqxncs. 

The Wcdqrans, hwiag parted ^idi t^ 
to the SalvatiOQ Amnr, tawc at ptfvnt oohr a sdiool- 
room duq)dy but are * hnHing the fer^* and Inot: ng ibr- 
ward to development oo mxssaofi EnesL To this end ther 
omtcmplate builduig a church in the new part of Creek 
Road. They^ are hopefril and (as diej sar) ' aggresshr.* 

Now and again die Free Church Council arrax^es 
a joint mission amoi^st the Tarioos Nonooofermist 
bodies, and on these omwions the churches chosen 
are crowded, but those who attend come mainly from 
other nei^bourhoods. Taken altogether, the work of 
the Nonconformists here amounts to not very much. 

Even though we add the two or diree mission-rooms, 
and a small Salvation Army corps, and give its utmost 
value to the work of the E^ablished Church, we cannot 
but accept the view that the mass of the population 
remains untouched on the religious side. 

There are indeed considerable numbers of Roman 
Catholics of whom as usual a much larger proportion 
recognise the claims of religion than is the case amongst 
those who, if asked the question, would account them- 
selves Protestants. But although the priests move 
about among their flock with authority, and although 
their great church in the High Street is better filled 
than others on Sunday morning, their people seem to 
be more than usually difficult to handle. Out of a total 
Catholic population of five thousand to six thousand, 
not more than fourteen hundred on an average appear 
to attend the various Masses. 

At Deptford, we are told by a priest who has had 
experience there, * begging is the nrst profession,* and 
apart from the work of the religious bodies, the claims 
of poverty, however expressed and however regarded, 
are here met by a very large number of relief associa- 
tions, to some of which we shall refer. 

V 2 


(b) Social Condition 

Whatever be the value or success of the efforts 
made to cope with it, we have convincing evidence 
as to the physical and moral, as well as spiritual, 
destitution of the larger part of the inhabitants of 
the parishes of Christ Church and St. Nicholas, as well 
as of the contiguous portions of St. Paul*s. 

Among the evils from which the people suffer, 
drink stands first. ^ It is almost impossible,' says one 
of the clergy, * to sleep at nights owing to the shouting 
and singing. The police can't or won't cope with 
drunken disorder and noise. For drink it is the 
worst place I know.* * Drink,' says one of the 
missionaries, * is, if anything, worse than ever.* * The 
real cause of poverty if you go back,' says another 
minister, *the real mischief, is the drink. If you 
could do away with it — but you can't — ^you would 
change the aspect of the place. Thriftlessness, through 
drin^ is the evil. You see children with hardly 
anything to cover them, running in and out of the 
public-houses with great jonmis of beer.* And, as 
bearing on this, the headmaster of a Board school, 
where the children all come from the poorest streets, 
says that : * In the matter of clothing and feeding, 
not much can be done for them, the difficulties are 
so great. Clothes given are at once pawned ; and it 
is hard to find out the suitable cases for meals.* * Yet,* 
this witness continues, *the poverty of the children 
is very great, as indicated by their clothing, which is 
always wretched, and in winter by semi-starvation. 
Two or three days of cold weather and they all look 
pinched.* Another witness gives a terrible picture of 
life in the poorest part of Watergate Street, where 
there are two large old houses let by the room, in 
which people sleep on the stairs and anywhere, and 
in Rowley Street, where there are forty families — 


dock labourers, drovers and street sellers — ^living in nine- 
teen small houses. He adds, ^ They are very poor, but 
earn plenty of money — ^it is the drink.* Such people 
move frequently, but do not go far. * They do not 
change to better themselves, but because they cannot 
pay the rent ; and the landlord is glad to be quit of 
them ; but Aey must stop near their work.' The 
place, he thinks, does not become any better. Drink- 
ing among women is on the increase. The women 
have their special houses and will sit in the bar, 
peeling their potatoes as they drink and talk. Elderly 
women lead respectable young married women astray 
— ^pawn for them, &c. A local rule of etiquette is 
mentioned, according to which a bride is expected to 
stand a ^ go* of gin. People admit now and again 
that the habit is bad and wrong, and sign a pledge, 
but do not keep it. One instance was mentioned of 
a woman whose husband fell down in drink and broke 
his neck — and who had herself signed again and again, 
but only ^ supposed it must be the booze to the bitter 
end.' There is about it a kind of fatalism ; so 
entirely hopeless in most cases are good resolutions, 
so wakened any power of resistance. Of the evil 
influence of older women on young, going far beyond 
the mere effects of bad example, we hear often ; 
not alone in Deptford, nor solely concerning drink. 
Unfortunately it applies to bad habits of every kind. 
It is terrible, but it is true, that, as regards all ordinary 
&ctory work, no careful employer will allow his girl 
employees to be in the same rooms v/ith the elder 

The vicar of St. Paul's, referring to the connection 
of drink and degradation with poverty, mentioned 
the extensive industrial re-adjustment which followed 
the closing of the Deptford Dockyard in 1869. The 
wages are lower at the Victualling Yard than they 
were at the Dockyard, and a diflferent class of men is 
V 2 * 


required, and the work at the cattle market, though 
well paid, is degrading. From one reason or another 
the men rarely work the week through. These 
economic changes have brought in their train an 
increase of gambling and betting, with much excessive 
drinking and low life, and have not yet been over- 
taken ; but as Deptford had solid industrial resources, 
it was to be expected (the vicar thought) that things 
would gradually settle down and be better. 

Except the * bullies* who live upon and with 
prostitutes of lowest type, the slaughter-men, though 
far from the poorest, are the most degraded class. 
The simplest and grossest forms of physical indulgence 
are all they ask from life. The conditions of the work 
have also a degrading effect on the young women who 
are employed in the slaughter-houses, and who, from 
the nature of their task, go by the horrible name of 
*gut girls.* Altogether, there seems to be a quite 
exceptional amount of low-toned life, and the relations 
between the sexes are at their roughest. One cannot 
be surprised if members of Christian churches sooner 
or later leave, either for their own sakes or for the 
sake of their children, a district such as this. 

Efforts are made to humanize the rough girls ; one 
missionary mentions the baskets of flowers and the 
costly Bibles that are given them by ladies ; but the 
girls, he says, think more of dress, and will spend half 
a guinea on a feather. Still, it is not without con- 
siderable success that the ladies working for the 
Deptford Fund have gathered these girls into a club. 
Rough though they are, they respond well, and are 
ready to police themselves and to exclude from the 
club those whose conduct fells below the adopted 
standard of propriety. There is social equality within 
the club, but it was not without some pressure that 
the girls whose work was with the entrails of sheep 
consented to associate with those who had to deal 


with the still more disgusting dibris of larger beasts. 
So finely are distinctions drawn. In this club 
music and singing take a leading place, and an efibrt, 
supported by many of the girls themselves, is made 
to supersede coarse songs. Instrumental music begins 
to be liked, although at first a violin was greeted with 
roars of laughter. 

This club is sdd to be one of the best things that 
the *Deptford Fund* has done. The Fund was 
instituted in April, 1894, as the direct result of 
a * Grey Lady's * visit to Baildon Street. Some great 
people became interested, money was raised, and the 
work started, ^to help the people/ A kitchen was 
established for the preparation of suitable meals for 
the sick and convalescent, and to distribute them 
authorized visitors of all denominations have been 
appointed. This, the first and original efiR>rt of the 
organization, does not obtain universal approval. 
Some of the Churches grumble, being disappointed 
at their share of the distribution, and aver that the 
transfer of charitable subscriptions to the central fund 
has robbed their own institutions of support and 
checked their growth ; from another point of view, 
a missionary, who is not himself one of the chosen 
almoners, expresses some doubt as to the good done 
by the ^ tremendous lot of dinners given/ It is also 
complained in a general way that a wrong and ex* 
aggerated impression is given of the poverty and 
degradation or Deptford, and that this, among other ill 
eflects, is depressing to the value of property there. 

To all of this I can only say that poverty and distress 
certainly exist, and that the management of the Fund 
seems good. But I have my fears when I read in the 
report of * growing needs,* and note the success that 
attends their appeals for money. The other operations 
undertaken are, however, more upon the lines of the 
girls* club, and call for workers rather than subscrip- 


tions. * Children's Happy Evening* entertainments 
are provided ; and there is a school of domestic 
economy, where cooking, laundry work and dress- 
making are taught, with the idea fwhich, however, has 
come to nought) of training girls for domestic service. 
Rescue work was also formerly undertaken, but the 
work of this branch has now been amalgamated with 
that of another organization of the same kind. There 
seem to be two girls' clubs connected with the Fund, 
both of which meet at the Albany Institute. One of 
these is, while the other is not, catalogued among 
* preventive agencies,' and is dealt with in the same 
report as the Refuge Home. So to classify any girls* 
club seems to me neither generous nor wise. It is 
greatly to be desired that these two sides of work 
among young women should be kept distinct. 



St. Luke's and St. Mark's are two of the parishes 
mentioned as having replaced the market gardens of 
the past, filling up acre by acre the spaces left between 
the railway lines. The general improvement of this 
area has been noted. 

At St. Luke's the first holder of the living was a great 
preacher who filled the church, drawing no doubt from 
all sides. He was followed by a High Churchman, 
who consolidated a congregation on High Church 
lines ; but anti-ritualistic disturbances followed, and 
the Trustees interfered. The present state of things — 
an ornate, but Evangelical service — is a compromise 
which, though it may not quite satisfy anyone, yet 
maintains a good congregation, almost all of whom 
are or have been parishioners. As many as five 


hundred and fifty coaimiiiucauits air counted at Easticr. 
Visiting;, apart from magazine distribution, is done hj 
the paid staff — two curates^ two Grej Ladies, two odier 
ladies and a nurse. The c jum c ss object is intensrve — 
to get a firm hold of those who are already attKhed^ 
rather than to bring in others : * I grieve ' (said the 
vicar) * more over those I lose than rtjmcc over new 
adherents.' At this church there is once a mondi 
a rather unusual kind o£ men's service successfUljr 
managed hy a committee. 

The Church of England here has the ground prac- 
tically to herself. The Wesleyans and the Methodist 
New Connexion have each a little chapel with a handful 
of members and small Sunday school, and that is alL 
There are, however, two L/ondon City Missionaries, 
from whom we can learn a good deaL 

The district allotted to one of these is in St Ldbe's 
parish. He speaks of our pink streets there as beLci^ 
tenanted by such as engineers, victualling yardmen and 
police. Many occupy die whole house (six rooms)^ but 
except where elder children are at work, there arc more 
usually two families in each house. Apart fix>m those 
who drink too much, all are in comfort, and in the 
best i»rts some are buying their houses. Those whom 
he visits are rarely church-goers. * They thank Cobden 
and Bright and everybody but God for their prosperity/ 
Those who can afford it buy a piano, and on Sunday 
evening you can hear them singing the latest music-haU 
ditty. But, says this impartial witness, as a rule the 
men are better than their talk : « You must credit 
them for a great deal more religion than they confess * 
In earlier days he used to sp«ik of their sins ; now 
he talks more of God, and leaves them to draw their 
own inferences — a plan, as he has learned by repeated 
experience, which is much less likely to fail than that 
of direct admonition. He finds the people specially 
amenable at a time of death, when the relations ^ 


brought together ; for * London, with all its careless- 
ness, is wonderfully tender-hearted/ 

Among people such as these it is quite possible for 
this missionary to find a hundred who will attend 
a Gospel service, and for this service he has been able 
to form a choir of twenty-seven boys and girls. It is 
a success similar in kind, and fairly in proportion to 
that attained bv the parish church. In his mission hall 
on Sunday afternoon a lady holds a Bible-class for 
young women, and in connection with it there is a 
mothers' meeting conducted by a lady from Black- 
heath, and ^ helped * by the teas and excursions which 
her liberality provides. Nor is it difficult to bring in 
a crowd on occasion. When the missionary first visited 
the woodchoppers* berths by the Surrey Canal they 
demanded that he should * pay his footing,' so he stood 
them a tea, followed by a service of song, and the 
place was crowded with men and women and girls ; 
but they *have not come since.' 

The taking of drink is usually regarded as a matter of 
course or necessity, and even those who have suffered 
in their own homes from the ruin of their children 
will not give it up. The open effects of drinking are 
seen most on Friday and Saturday nights in Evelyn 
Street, or on public holidays, when this street is like 
a fair. But *the teetotalers do not,' in the opinion 
of this missionary, * help temperance reform by looking 
down on those who take alcohol — regarding total 
abstinence as a kind of Gospel.' 

In the poorer parts the people marry very young, 
and are content with a low standard of life. They 
are far too ready to accept charity from anybody, and 
seem to regard church charity as coming from people 
long deady not as coming out of the donor's pocket. 
They intend to go to church sometimes in return, 
* but they don't do it, you know.' Blackhorse Street 
is recognised as the poorest and certainly is the lowest. 


Many of the people there drink heavily and fight — 
you see women with ^ black eyes.* Their standard 
of life is so low that they make no attempt to conceal 

The other missionary, whose work lies mainly in 
St Paul's parish, but on the side next St. Luke's^ 
has a more extensive organization, including a number 
of workers and a brass band, open-air as weU as 
indoor prayer meetings, and Gospel services, held 
on both Sunday and week-days. There is a large 
Sunday school, a mothers' meeting, provident, loan, 
and other dubs ; and altogether a great deal going 
on. It is a young people's mission ; most of the 
workers have been trained at it, and in it they 
find their life and interest. In attempting to deal 
with the population generally the missionary complains 
that the men are not sufficiently aroused to argue 
about religion, and ^the more faithful you are with 
people the more shy they are of you.' Some of them 
are, however, keen politicians, so much so that he 
finds it desirable to avoid politics. They are comfort- 
able working-class people, and not intemperate as a 
whole, although they go to public-houses. 

There has been a great decrease in the number of 
licensed houses, and it is difficult to obtain permission 
to open new ones, but at the same time the bar 
accommodation has largely increased. An elderly City 
missionary, who has now no hall, goes about among 
the public-houses, visiting them at all hours, but 
mostly in the morning and evening. There is not 
much dnmkenness to be seen ; and he finds that, 
except in the evening, the people take their drink 
and go off again. Neither does he see so many 
drunken women ; but many more respectable working 
men's wives go in for * their drops ' than used to be 
the case, though some of them like to conceal the fact. 
The people among whom this missionary works do 


not move much, and he often sees in the parents of 
to-day the children he knew thirty or forty years ago. 

Referring to the theatre, lately opened, and the 
music-hall, he says they have not improved matters 

fenerally, but as to drink have made little difference. 
Ic notes, regretftdly, the row of respectable working 
people waiting to get into the pit, and the Baptist 
minister in St. PauTs parish speaks also of the bad 
influence the theatre and music-hall exercise on the 
young, being largely patronized by those from fifteen 
to twenty years of age of decent working class, with 
others a shade lower. They will stand an hour at 
the door to secure good places. The craving for 
excitement, this minister says, extends to his own 
young people. 

At St. Mark's we have a more easygoing organiza- 
tion than at St. Luke's ; no multiplication of services, 
but merely a free and open church, with bright music, 
which attracts a congregation. There is also a full 
Sunday school, but it is quite small, and everything 
else seems also to be on a small scale, the whole 
being summed up by a neighbouring missionary in 
the words *not much,' but certainly good as far as 
it goes. 

The Congregationalists have here a mission chapel, 
which is one of several branches of the church in 
Lewisham High Road. They fill the hall on Sunday 
evening with well-dressed comfortable members of the 
working class, and are discussing the question of 
enlargement. They have also a large Sunday school, 
and special work is done for deaf mutes. But the 
mission leans too much on the parent church, especially 
for financial support. Enthusiasm is lacking. For 
a Gospel temperance meeting, Mf there is a good 
musical programme, and it is well " billed," ' they can 
fill the hall, but not otherwise, and they do not find 


that social meetings and entertainments help on 
spiritual work ; Deptford is looked upon as a ^ hard 
district.' We hear again of the long lines of people 
waiting at theatre and music-hall, and of Sunday spent 
in pleasiu-e, as also of well-kept houses in which there 
is little idea of saving. But, perh24>s as a consequence, 
by way of a reaction from this view of life, we find 
here a remarkable mission carried on by a small 
body of earnest railway mem Of this mission a fuller 
account is given as an illustration in a later chapter. 

The part of St. Paul's parish which lies west of 
the High Street may be classed, on the whole, with 
St Mark's parish, which it adjoins, but contains oome 
poor places, including the notorious Baildon Street, 
which, with Charles Street (where his hall is situated), 
are the special sphere or another City missionary, 
whose helpers, including Sunday school teachers and 
a large brass band, come from the Brockley Road 
Baptist Church. He says the inhabitants of Baildon 
Street change so frequently that it is useless to make 
an address book. Of those who attend his Gospel 
services, very few are from the surrounding poor 
streets. In Baildon Street itself a lady holds a 
children's meeting, and services are given in the 
lodging-houses, whilst the Salvation Army holds 
meetings there occasionally. 

Baildon Street is a cul-de-uic^ and would be greatly 
improved if opened up northwards into Dougl^ 
Street. It is a very rough place, containing two 
r^stered common lodging-houses, and referred to 
thus in our notes : * Empty costers* barrows, ice- 
cream machines and knife grinders* wheels stand in 
the street : a few men are getting ready to go out 
with their stock : children, some shoeless and all ragged 
and dirty, are playing about, while frowsy, unkempt, 
half-dressed women eye you curiously, and one asks 
the sergeant " if he has come for her this time." * 



The portion of All Saints* parish lying north of 
New Cross Road, known as Hatcham Park, is peopled 
mainly by clerks and artisans. To the south there 
is a much poorer colony, consisting mostly of labourers, 
and in Falkener Street some squalor. Except in rare 
instances, the poorer parishioners, though friendly, never 
come to church. They are not prepared to make the 
effort, and find ^ slacking about more congenial ; ' but 
from the other section, although late rising and Sunday 
bicycling are prevalent, good congregations are drawn, 
including a considerable proportion of men. The services 
are Evangelical. Owing to the cleavage in the popu- 
lation, most of the social agencies have to be 
duplicated, and we find, for instance, two mothers* 
meetings, two Bands of Hope, and even two libraries. 
There are free concerts on Saturday, and there is 
a very large Sunday school with some sixty teachers. 

Between All Saints' and St. Mark's, but extending 
fzr into the middle-class region further south, lies the 
parish of St. James, Hatcham. This church, like 
St. Luke's, has been bandied between High and Low, 
without, as it seems, suffering loss of force. It was 
originally Evangelical, but the advowson was bought 
by Mrs. Tooth, who presented the living to her son, 
the man whose advanced practices provoked riots, and 
who attained to the modern martyrdom of imprisonment 
under the Public Worship R^ulation Act. Then, 
after a colourless interregnum, the living was secured 
by the other side and placed in the hands of Evan- 
gelical trustees, who seem to have been fortunate in 
their choice of a succession of incumbents, through 
whom the parochial organization has been kept at 
a high pitch of efficiency. 

The population in this parish to the north of 


New Cross Road is wholly working class, a large 
proportion finding employment in connection with tnc 
railways. There may be poverty here and there, but 
there are now no noticeably poor streets. It is a dis- 
trict very similar to St. Luke's and St. Mark's ; 
perhaps rather better. Ten years ago there were manv 
empty houses here ; now there are none. The air is 
fresh and pure, the streets are fairly wide, and the 
houses have gardens. In the worst parts there has 
been the greatest improvement. Soutn of New Cross 
Road the people are mainly of middle and lower 
middle dass, but the social trend is downward. The 
parish counts nearly twenty-five thousand inhabitants. 

For the religious needs of this population there are, 
belonging to toe Establishment, three churches, four 
mission buildings and five schools ; served by five 
defgy, with four paid lay assistants and some four 
hundred honorary helpers of one kind or other. The 
churches, St. James, St. Michael, and Sl George, hold 
respectively twelve hundred and fifty, seven hundred 
and fifty, and four hundred and fifty, and are said to 
have ^ laige congr^ations on Sunday morning ' and to 
be ^ full at ni^t * ; while to a montlily men's service at 
St. James's firom five hundred to twelve hundred men 
come. Nevertheless, the vicar recognises that the bulk 
of his working-class parishioners remain indifferent and 
untouched. On Sunday morning ^ they loaf about in 
their shirt sleeves, and in the evening buck up and 
go out for a walk.' ^ They are not unkindly disposed 
— blatant atheism is dead, but scepticism is very 
prevalent and increasing.' It is induced, the vicar 
thinks, not so much by any process of intelligent 
thought, as by the hd that ^ men's lives are not right, 
and that therefore they seek about for some excuse' for 
their conduct, and on this subject we have something 
very nmilar from a ndghbouring Baptist minister, who 
ssLjs that the whole working class are impr^;nated with 



free thought, not, in his view, because they believe 
the Bible to be untrue, but because they would like to 
think so. 

The congregations at St. James's and St. George's 
are middle class. St. Michael's in Knoyle Street is the 
working-class church, and draws its people from its 
own neighbourhood. Of these there are always some 
found who care to come, and it would be difficult 
to judge from their appearance to which class they 

There are about two thousand children in the 
Sunday schools. There is also a small day school, but 
it is not needed, for the Board schools are satisfactory 
— the teachers in them being, the vicar says, quite 
excellent. From among these teachers are drawn 
many of those who serve the Sunday schools or do 
other parish work. There is a Band of Hope which 
has seven hundred members, and a lads' brigade, with 
cricket, football and other clubs to try and hold the 
boys ; and, for the other sex, a branch of the Young 
Women's Christian Association, with from three hundred 
to four hundred members. Altogether it is a very 
active organization. 'The most popular church in the 
district;' *The strongest;' 'The best of the churches;' 
'Doing splendid work' — such are terms in which St. 
James's, Hatcham, is spoken of by its neighbours.* 

In this parish the Baptists, Wesleyans, and Congre- 
gationalists are all represented. The Baptist minister, 
whose own church in Brockley Road is well filled with 
middle-class people, feels the effect of the change that 
is taking place in the population, and describes the 
new comers either as attending no place of worship, 
or as ' needing inducements to do so.' But, speaking of 
the neighbourhood generally, he says that the churches 
and chapels are still mosdy full, and are a great force, 

• The Rev, E, J. Kennedy, who was vicar at ihe time of onr inquiry, has 


especially, among the former, St. James's, Hatcham, and 
Sl Peter's, Brockley. The Baptists have two mission 
halls in the poor parts of Deptford. In these fair 
success is achieved in gathering children together, 
and a few women are attracted, but, as usual, there 
is complete failure as to men. 'Those who are 
really touched you may count on the fingers of your 
hand.' It is, indeed, to be feared that the people 
connected with the mission organization come in the 
main for what they can get. 'They require to be 
helped, and will take all you can give them.' All 
the adherents are assisted in some way in the course 
of the year, and, as has been said, even so, few come 
from the poor streets that surround the missions. It 
is remarked, and the remark is one often made, that 
people do not care to attend a mission hall at their 
own doors, but prefer to go further afield; which 
seems to show that there is some sense of shame 
connected with going to the mission, or that they 
dread the scoffing of their neighbours. 

The Wesleyan Church in New Cross Road, which 
is also affected adversely by social changes, draws to 
some extent from the working-class district to the 
north, but the congregation is mainly middle class, 
and provides, by its society classes and a Wesley 
Guild, for the 'Christian fellowship and spiritual 
edification ' of its members, and especially the younger 
ones. The Sunday school is the oidy agency by 
which they touch the class below, except that there 
is a Dorcas Society which makes garments and provides 
'maternity bags' for distribution amongst the poor. 
They question the utility, from a religious point of 
view, of mothers' meetings and slate dubs. 

Ludwick Hall, Clifton Hill, is another branch of 
the Lewisham High Road Congregational Church. 
The principal work is a Sunday school, with a children's 
morning service, and Bible-classes in the afternoon; 


but an attempt to meet the supposed tastes of the 
working classes is made by way of * Pleasant Sunday 
Evening Services * and * Pleasant Tuesday Evenings,' 
and by the music of a brass band. There is also 
a so-called * Cottage Meeting' on Wednesday after- 
noons. This last is now held in the hall, and is in 
effect a prayer meeting, when a blessing is invoked 
on all the work. Except on Tuesdays, when a good 
magic-lantern exhibition or the cinematograph may * fill 
the hall to its utmost capacity,' the numbers attracted 
seem to be extremely small. 

The parent church of this, and of the Congregational 
Mission in St. Mark's parish already described, is itself 
situated in the adjoining parish of St. John, and, being 

?uite ftill, seeks to extend its sphere in these ways. 
)f its well-to-do congregation, many come from 
considerable distances. It has one thousand and 
forty-two members, and may perhaps be accounted 
the most influential church in what is described 
as a well-ordered district of church-goers. In 
addition to the efforts on behalf of the poorer 
classes, and pardy in connection with them, the 
young people are organized in junior and senior 
societies or Christian Endeavour, and their elders 
as a * Christian Aid Society,' with a Bible woman 
nurse, whose work, and that of the ladies who assist 
her (^always ready to speak a word for the Lord 
Jesus to her patients '), is referred to rather unctuously 
in one of the minor reports. 

I do not doubt that this work, though probably 
rather futile on its religious side, and described in what 
is to me very trying language, is the outcome of 
a genuine Christian endeavour. But one turns with 
a sense of relief to read of the proceedings of the Church 
Literary Society to which the young people also belong, 
with its lawn tennis and camera clubs, and an extremely 
attractive course of lectures taking place every week 


from October to March, and to note how the lecture on 
Charles Dickens resulted in a summer excursion of 
a party of sixty to Rochester and the Dickens* 

Of the work of the Church of England in St. John's 
parish I am without direct information. It is Evangelical^ 
and ^well spoken of by the surrounding Noncon- 
formists. The parish is much of it poor, being in 
this respect an extension southward of Christ Qiurch 
and St. Paul's. In it the Strict Baptists have a ' Zion,* 
which has a membership of two hundred and thirty- 
nine, and a Sunday school with three hundred and 
eighty scholars and thirty-two teachers. The report 
also says : — ^** Unity abides in our midst. The services 
are fairly well attended. All our institutions are 
well sustained. The spirit of orayer is mightily 
manifested, and we are looking forward to showers 
of blessings.'* The members of this congregation do 
not come from the immediate neighbourhood, though 
the Sunday school children do. So, too, the Methodists 
at Brunswick Chapel come mainly from the streets 
to the south. They are comfortable, working-class 
people, less numerous and socially a grade below the 
Baptists, but hardly less respectable. They relieve 
their own poor from the Sacramental Fund, but among 
their members there is seldom need for relief. ^ In 
nine cases out of ten,' we are told by their pastor, 
* poverty is self-inflicted.' * It is the man who is not 
religious and who drinks' that wants relief. The 
spiritual work of this sect, like that of the Zion 
Baptists, lies mainly among its own members, but 
the minister, in his interview with us, emphasized 
the changed attitude of the Nonconformist Churches 
towards the poor: they now recognise their respon- 
sibility, and are becoming desperately in earnest in 
trying to bring those outside into the Church. And 
this is not entirely without response, his own experience 

V 3 


being that, in his visits among the outside people, he 
finds in the very poorest homes times when religious 
conversation is liked. 

We have seen how this spirit moves amongst the 
Baptists and Congregationalists, and we find it also in 
a marked degree with the Presbyterians of Brockley 
Road, whose church is in St. Peter's parish, Brockley, 
but whose religious and philanthropic energies extend 
throughout Deptford. Some ten or twelve years ago 
they established the ^ People's Hall,' on the Broadway. 
Great were the anticipations and great the enthusiasm 
recorded in the account of their first year's work. To 
this report, entitled "One Year's work in Outcast 
London," they still turn back. Efforts are made to 
maintain a sense of the importance of what is done, and 
stirring paragraphs appear in the annual Church report, 
but the high level of past zeal cannot be sustained. 
The work at this hall is an admixture of philanthropy 
and the Gospel enlivened by concerts. It is claimed 
that at the Gospel service held at 8 o'clock on Sunday 
evening, they reach the poorest class, ^especially on the 
nights when the lime-light is used.' The attendance 
is best at the Saturday evening concerts. Those who 
come to the hall are visited. During the winter 
much help was given in food, fire, clothing and 
otherwise, ^always in connection with religious services.' 
All this work is managed by the ^ Christian Associa- 
tion ' which embodies the working members of the 
Church, but it may be feared that the distribution by 
them of temporary relief, in the shape of soup, 
bread, grocery and coals, does far more harm than 

The church which throws off all this religious and 
philanthropic energy, spreading its charities widely 
through Deptford, is itself very prosperous. It has 
accommodation for a thousand, and is well filled ; it 
has Sunday schools, the children in which are largely 


those of tbe congregadoQ) and Bihle-cksscs far tho»« 
a Etde older ; it kas^ too» a special students* cUsS| ami 
a choral sodetj. The Christian Association already 
lefeii cd to in connection with the Peo|Jc*s !Iali| 
counting two hundred members, consists of young 
men and young women and includes a literary section. 
The *kwn-tennis duV ^^ i^^^l ii^ the rcporti hail 
a fidriy good season and supplied ^ healthv recreation 
with Christian society/ while at the ladies «ci.*tion of 
the gymnasium, * very creditable progress was nmdc In 
athletics.* Every young man and woman of tho 
church is urged to join * one or other of thcfie vuhmblc^ 
societies and thereby do good to themselves and othcrsi 
and thus hasten the coming of Chrifit's Ktnmlnin. 
So, too, the elder ladies have a working utisoimtioni 
wUch, the report says, by making garments for tho 
poor, * ministered comfort and joy to mmy needy 
homes and grateful hearts;* and all is told in tho 
simple language of a simple faith unable to recogniso 
how inadequate are the forces which it widtU nnd 
how exaggerated is its pretension to deal with tho 
needs of other classes and the deep-lying troubles of life. 
The Wesleyans, who have churches in ffurefleld 
Road, in St Peter*s parish, and in Kitto Hfm\f in 
St. Catherine's, find this a good ncighty<;urh(Kid« 
These churches are not full and never have Insm, but 
they were built in advance of the [)Opulatton and both 
con^egations are growing* Those who come to tho 
new streets are more inclined to Wcsleyani^m than 
the old residents who are leaving or have left* All 
classes are touched, but the Vfe%leyzn% fimi their 
adherents especially among commercial men and 
clerks. At Harefield Road an attempt has hern ma/lo 
to deal with the poor by means of two i^mall minion 
rooms and outdoor services, and there are Hun/lay 
schools with four hundred children drawn from tho 
poorer classes. 


St, Catherine's Church, magnificently placed on the 
top of Telegraph Hill in a well-to-do district, has no 
difficulties, financial or numerical. It is always well 
filled, and there were about four hundred communicants 
at Easter. 

The parish of St. Peter, Brockley, like St Catherine's, 
is very well-to-do, and includes no poor streets. 
The church has no endowment. It was built and is 
maintained by the residents, who thus have a sense 
of proprietorship, and the vicar's position comes to 
be not very diflFerent from that or a Nonconformist 
minister. His people are mostly salaried business 
men, not many of them employers now, *but many 
will be.' They are successful people, and very inde- 
pendent in tone. In such a parish district visiting 
would be out of place, and the ordinary Sunday school 
is uncalled for, but there is a well attended Sunday 
afternoon service for children. This church runs no 
mission of its own, but assists with money some of the 
poorer parishes, and finds an outlet for personal energy 
in helping the Deptford Ragged School in Giffin Street. 
The vicar is a very remarkable man, with a gift of 
forcible speech, fiill of trenchant humour, and though 
another appointment had been hoped for has made 
himself liked. He is a very successfid preacher and 
fills his church both morning and evening. ^ We have 
no late dinners,' he explained, with an ejaculation of 
thankfulness. A great many men come to hear him, 
and carping critics say that they do so seeking 
entertainment. They undoubtedly get it. But withal, 
it is plain, practical, powerful preaching, and of such 
sort diat no one tires of it. 

There is a noticeably friendly feeling amongst all the 
denominations in this neighbourhood. If they com- 
pete it is without bitterness or recrimination. There 
is a code of honour as to ^ sheep stealing,' and 
wanderers are often passed back. In some cases the 




vicars of the Established Churches have joined with 
Nonconformists in United Prayer Meetings. 

The great development of religious work In Dept- 
ford is spoken of by an old London City missionary 
who has worked here for nearly half a century. It 
is a development that has accompanied an enormous 
increase in the population aiid may even hardly have 
kept pace with it. But of the Church of England 
clergy there were, when he first came, only four where 
now there are twenty-four, and it is the same with the 
Nonconformists, who have also multiplied their places 
of worship, while the London City missionaries have 
increased from six to ten. The population, according 
to this witness, does not respond very well, and he 
even says that, except St. James's, none of the Churches 
are now doing so well as a few years ago. In so far 
as this is true there can be no doubt that it is due to 
the great influx of the working classes among whom 
indifference to spiritual work is so widely spread. 
* Their interests are in racing and betting; all the 
public-houses take the sporting papers and you see the 
men poring over the racing lists.' 





The old Greenwich Board of Works was a combina- 
tion of three vestries— viz., St. Nicholas and St. Paul, 
Deptford, and St. Alfcge, Greenwich ; but for all 
practical purposes the representatives of each vestry 
conducted their own affiiirs, and merely met to confirm 
and register what each had decided for themselves. 
The new Borough of Greenwich was so arranged as to 


include the old parish of St. Nicholas, Deptford, while 
the Borough of Deptford has been left with the 

At the time our inquiry was made the Board of 
Works was still in power, and the remarks that follow 
bear upon the district which we have accepted as 
being properly Deptford. In this area there is unfor- 
tunately a complete class division as between north 
and south, the line of separation being the New Cross 
Road. The representatives from the south side, the 
Brockley people, are described by the Presbyterian 
minister as * hard,* ^ keeping down the rates being the 
key-note of their action ;* while one of the Baptists, who 
himself sat on the vestry for some time, spoke of the 
Radical contingent from the other side as being formerly 
very strong, ^ with a wild Socialistic element,* bringing 
about excited party feeling and * scenes.* The resultant 
of these opposing forces seems, however, to have been 
not amiss : * vestry good ; * * works very well ; * * well 
managed;* * parish work done pretty well;* ^the 
labours of the local authorities have had a beneficial 
effect * — such are the views expressed by leading repre- 
sentatives of the Church of England, Wesleyans, 
Baptists and Congregationalists, and we have heard no 
dissentient voice. 

The reports on the conditions of housing and on 
sanitation naturally vary with the district referred to. 
The rector of St. Paul's speaks of the great difficulty 
of the task, and the vicar of Christ Church, while 
complaining of deterioration, enveighs against the 
system of ^ farming * which has been introduced into 
house-owning and man^ment. Another witness tells 
of several houses in Giffin Street condemned, but 
botched up again so as to pass, and asserts that half 
the houses in these streets ought to be demolished. 
He, too, refers to the system of * farming,* the houses 
being taken by speculators who let them out in rooms 


and collect their rents on Sunday mornings. And yet 
another deponent, speaking of St. Paul's parish, says 
that housing could not weU be worse ; and it is urged 
that the want of proper housing conduces to indulgence 
in drink. 

West of the High Street, however, the reports are all 
favourable, as : * Good,' * good throughout,' * generally 
good,' ^ not much to complain of,' ^ houses well kept 
and clean.' But the rents are high, and still rising, and 
the demand for dwellings so keen that people do not 
move if they can avoid it. Mt is almost impossible to 
find accommodation,' sajrs one, and there is certainly 
some overcrowding of a respectable character very 
difficult to deal with, when, for instance, in a house 
divided to accommodate two families, lodgers are taken 
by one or both in order to lighten the load of rent 
In the poor parts rents do not seem to have risen, the 
reason assigned being that the houses are so old and 
bad. The MiU Lane demolitions have, undoubtedly, 
increased crowding, and stringent regulations enforced 
in one part tend, at any rate temporarily, to aggravate 
the evil elsewhere. It is claimed by one witness that 
hardly a family in Giffin Street or Regent Street has 
more than one room. * Much overcrowding ; a great 
deal of single-room life,* is the report of another, who, 
at the same time, refers, as do the others, to the 
prevalence of the objectionable apartment system of 
the house-farmers. 

Health appears to be satisfactory. ^ Fairly good,' 
* good,' * generally very good,' * exceedingly good,' * on 
the whole surprisingly good,' * excellent, fever epidemics 
unknown,' are among the opinions expressed. These 
reports apply to both poor and rich, and to all parts 
of^ the district, but distinctions are drawn between 
the higher and lower ground. One witness cautiously 
states that the district is * fairly healthy,' * particularly 
where it lies high;' and the vicar of St. James's, 


speaking of his own parish, says that health is good in 
the southern part, which is on the hill, but that in the 
low-lying working-class quarter pulmonary diseases and 
cancer are rife. 

The streets and roads seem well kept and well 
lighted, and a good deal has been accomplished in the 
securing of open spaces, an enumeration of which will 
be found in the notes on the map (p. 77). 

Altogether the local authority set a good example, 
which it is to be hoped the new Borough Council will 
follow and carry further. 



Those of my readers who have never visited Greenwich 
will see, if thcjr refer to the map, that the Hospital and 
Park, with Blackheath in the rear, separate East from 
West Greenwich hardly less completely than Deptford 
Creek and the Ravensbourne valley divide West 
Greenwich from Deptford. Except for the footpaths 
across the park, Romney Road, which passes betwixt 
the Hospital and the Naval School, is the sole connect- 
ing link. 

So much the map can give, but of the singular 
charm of this breach in the continuity of London the 
map tells nothing ; neither of the formal beauty of 
the buildings, nor of the steep slopes of the park 
ennobled by great trees, culminating in the strange 
outline of the notable building from which are watched 
the movements of the stars to measure time and guide 
the whole world's mariners. Blackheath also has its 
charm of breezy openness and the feeling of having 
done with streets and of London left behmd ; but of 
this the map speaks clearly enough where the diverg- 
ing roads branch out upon the heath at the corner of 
the park. 

It is not, however, these aspects of the locality that 
must now engage our attention, but the lives of the 


popuktion, old and new, poor and rich, that have 
gathered in and around the royal borough of Green- 
wich. In describing them I shall begin on the west 
side of the park with the poor who live there and 
trace the population southward to Blackheath HiU ; 
and I shall then follow the same course on the other 
side of the park, where a quite new element is 
encountered in the population which is finding its 
way in from the North, through the roadway tunnelled 
under the Thames from Blackwall. 



St. Peter's parish, hemmed in between river, railwav, 
creek and hospital, is peculiarly isolated and entirdy 
poor. Even the fringe of red which fronts the 
hospital belongs to St. Alfege. The vicar says his 
parish is unique, and mentions, as supporting this 
claim, that it has the greatest density of popu- 
lation and the largest proportion of males to 
females ; that all its inhabitants are poor ; and that 
it contains neither chapel nor Board school. 

There is, indeed, a Board school just beyond the 
parish boundary, which draws its children from his 
population, but there is in the whole area, including 
scraps of St. Alfege's and St. Paul's, no chapel to 
share or dispute with him the spiritual care or these 
certainly extremely poor and very crowded people. 
Only a City missionary visits some of his streets and 
holds meetings in a small hall, which (like the school) 
is just beyond his boundary. Within the parish there 
is, it is true, an undenominational Sunday school, 
which was once a ragged school, and combined with 



■I "'2 


- J o i Ji <&S 





it a Working Lads' Institute. With these exceptions 
the church stands quite alone. 

If there are other areas in London equally crowded 
and poor, there are, at least, none that are much more 
so. The poverty, however, though so general, is not 
anywhere here so degraded as in parts of Deptford, 
and the vicar, who has been connected with the parish 
thirty years, can trace some improvement in the 
condition of the people consequent on the forcing out 
of the poorest by the forbidding of overcrowding and 
the closing of cellar dwellings. Meanwhile, his work 
has suffered by the deterioration of the wealthy neigh- 
bouring districts upon which it depended for help, and 
the Church thus in a measure shares the isolation and 
poverty of the people. 

It is chiefly through the young that the Church 
comes into contact with the parishioners. In its day 
schools nearly six hundred children are taught, and an 
equal number belong to the Sunday schools. The 
people are also visited in their homes, but will not come 
to the church, which is empty both morning and 
evening. 'Completely friendly, but utterly apathetic," 
we are once more told, is the attitude of the popu- 
lation. The services are Evangelical and old fashioned. 

Apart from the schools the greatest measure of 
success attends the temperance work. The response 
comes as usual most readily from the young, of whom, 
it is said, that in twenty-three years five thousand have 
passed through the Band of Hope, five hundred being 
the present membership. Of the senior society it is 
stated that throughout all these years it has maint£uned 
a weekly meeting. 

The Ragged School and Institute which I have 
mentioned, has three hundred and forty-eight names 
on its Sunday school register, and an average attend- 
ance of two hundred and twenty-eight, and this is 
made a basis for other work, chiefly among children. 


such as magic-lantern services, from which ^much 
blessing* is hoped for. The Lads' Institute has 
seventy members, but does not seem to be working 
vety successfully, as, although the officers are said to 
fina " cause for praise," we read also in the report that 
their patience " has been sorely tested by the roughness 
of the lads." The pious discipline of this establishment 
demands rather much. The reading of a portion of 
Scripture and prayer is fixed for 9.15 at night, and all 
the boys are expected to attend ; terms upon which, 
in these days, the happiness of not a few private 
families womd be surely wrecked if the parents were 
old fashioned enough or stern enough to enforce them. 
There are cricket and football clubs, gymnastic and 
swimming classes, and other attractions for the boys, 
but the effort seems to flag somewhat. Perhaps the 
special attempts made to carry on this institution to 
what the more pious subscribers account as ^Grod's 
glory ' are not very happily conceived. 

The City missionary, a gentle, pious, white-haired 
old man, who here visits from house to house, 
fills his hall on Sunday nights with women, and 
some of them come also on Thursdays. We 
hear of no other religious work in this district, but it 
is very probable that emissaries come to it from some 
of the Nonconformist churches to the south. 

The master and mistress of the neighbouring Board 
school not unnaturally regard the schools as a greater 
influence than any other, whether social or religious, 
and they agreed in naming * self-respect * as the most 
important lesson the children learnt. The parents, 
none of whom are hostile, are nearly all labourers or 
riverside workers, with a few railway men, and artisans 
employed at the gas works. The children, it is said, 
both boys and girls, choose their school to some extent, 
and the better off are apt to pass this one by, and may 
even go as far as Royal Hill or Blackheath Road to find 


what thejr like. The same liberty of choice leads also 
to truanqr, for which park, creek and river offer at 
once &nlities and temptation, especially in summer. 
Of such truancy there is still a good deal ; but there 
used to be much more in old days when the parents 
rather encouraged these irregularities. No child stays 
on at school alter fourteen, very few beyond thirteen, 
and here, as elsewhere, many, while still at school, 
bc^;in to earn money out or school hours, some as 
newspaper boys, or as assistants in barbers* or pawn- 
brokers* shops, managing on Saturday and Suncky, or 
by working early and late, to put in many hours* 
employment. An attempt to arrange football matches 
on Saturday broke down because industrial work inter- 
fered, and the club was given up. Girls, when there 
are several in the femily, take turns to stay at home, but 
otherwise are much more regular than the boys, and 
more docile. They like coming to school, and never 
play truant, but are said to be less truthful than the 
Doys« Both are honest, and the school never has to 
pay for stolen things. The Penny Bank, with nearly 
five hundred depositors, is very successful. The money 
deposited is drawn out to spend during treats, or on 
purchases of clothes, as is commonly the case in most 
schools in poor neighbourhoods. 

The following extracts fi-om notes made during our 
survey of the streets may help to supplement the 
outlines of the picture I have been able to give. In 
its general characteristics the district is described as 
resembling many country towns, * with a few leading 
streets and little alleys tucked in between ; * there are 

* winding alleys and litde courts,* and the houses are 

* nearly all old, some dating from the eighteenth cen- 
tury.' Occasionally the gardens in the main 
street *give glimpses of scarlet beans and sun- 
flowers ; but the smaller houses are apt to be 
*set down anywhere, often built back to back.' 


Quoting further, and now coming to more detailed 
descriptions, we read : * Haddo Street : two or three 
families per house, costers, and dockers, or creek men. 
Some just coming home very grimy to dinner. Some 
of the houses with well-kept windows. Blucher 
Buildings : two entries, one on each side of beer-house ; 
the houses of two storeys back to back; north side 
still very rough (say the police), south side better. 
Roan Street: Skinner's Buildings, ten houses of two 
rooms each, with small garden in fi-ont, rent 4J 6d 
a week ; " quite enough for these little hovels," 
said a woman who lived there. Roan Place : two rooms 
and scullery, windows broken and stopped with paper. 
St. Jameses Place: narrow entry, three-storey houses, 
consisting of three rooms one above the other, long 
gardens in front, with washhouse, &c., one of the 
gardens well kept. Those who dwell here are brick- 
layers* labourers, &c. Women do washing and pardy 
support the men. All are very poor. Another row 
of houses back on to these, fronting the other way, 
with small gardens.' 

In many cases these houses have good back gardens, 
but here and there a cottage has been wedged in. 
fFood fFharfhy the river side is * as poor as you like ; * 
the houses old, dull and dirty ; and in Coltman Place 
and Coltman Buildings we have again, back to back, two 
storey two-roomed houses, with closet in front. In 
the door of the closet a swing had been arranged and 
on it were swinging by turns a lot of dirty children. 
Near Coltman St. is the * Sun ' public-house ; women 
were standing in the bar, and a baby crawling on the 
floor. In Fawn Buildings^ built on the ground at the 
rear of a public-house in Bridge Street, the backway to 
the public-house passes through the property, and in 
this passage was a foul open urinal ; near which dirty 
children were playing about while their mothers swore 
at them. In another little place consisting of some more 


two-roomed cottages set back to back, with washhouses 
in front, women were washing and singing, surrounded 
by ragged dirty children, one being still in its night- 
dress. A little girl of about three on being told to go 
with her sister to get beer, refused the escort, and went 
alone ; and presently returned with a pint of porter in 
a can. Richardson Place has eleven two-storeyed two- 
roomed houses, with washhouse and three or four 
closets for common use near the entrance ; everything 
filthy ; * rent 4J 6//, and must pay extra for a key of 
the w.c* Here live navvies and gas-stokers. 

* Some girls of about twelve are playing " school ". It 
is a singing lesson that they affect — neCTO songs, sung 
with fresh young voices — this the orJy bright thing 
about the place.* In Thames Street we again meet with 
grimy men returning to their homes for dinner at 
I o'clock. 

Bad as it is, there are many worse places in London. 

The school master and mistress already mentioned 
referred to drink as the curse of the people, and the 
vicar of St. Paul's (in whose parish the school actually 
stands) spoke of the horror of the drinking carried on 
in these poor streets, and of sights to be seen such 
as made it almost impossible for ladies to go there 
at holiday times ; though still nothing like so bad as 
it was before the abolition of Greenwich Fair. 

All agree that the conditions are improving, and 
such expressions as * used to be rough, better now,' 

* used to be rough, but the roughest people have left,' 
recur frequendy in our police notes. And there is 
agreement, too, as to the immediate cause for this 
improvement. More than anything else it is due 
to that well recognised London difficulty, pressure 
upon house room — ^an evil working here to good, 
for the pressure has been created mainly by legislation 
against overcrowding and cellar dwellings, which has 
p«rdy compelled, and pardy assisted, landlords to get 

V 4 


rid of undesirable tenants ; while in some cases, perhaps, 
a former rough character may, under pressure of law 
and landlord combined, have settled down into a 
decent working man. 

Beyond this material influence there is that of 
education, * softening manners and mitigating ferocity,' 
as the old Latin Grammars claimed ; but religion in 
any highly developed form takes no present place ; 
and it is impossible not to feel that amongst these 
poor West Greenwich people, whether for them or by 
them, something more might be done ; and difiicult 
to escape the conclusion that such religious agencies as 
are at work fail even to an unusual degree to penetrate 
their lives. 



It must be admitted that there is nothing very 
attractive about the services at St. Peter's Church, 
and on that account alone it is not surprising that 
so few attend, although quite large congregations are 
found at St. Alfege's, hard by. The method of 
approach at the two churches is different, and it is 
probable that, of the few of St. Peter's parishioners 
who care to attend at all, some may prefer the services 
at the mother parish church. But, after all, the 
contrast, as regards attendance, is to be explained 
mainly, not by differences in the character of the 
services, but by difference in class of the surrounding 
population, clearly enough indicated by the colours on 
the map. In St. Peter's all are poor, whereas the 
vicar of St. Alfege* has described his own people as 

* Mr. Brooke Lambsrt, a very liberal-minded and courageous man, 
whose death has happened since the time of our inquiry at Greenwich 
(May, X900). 


one-third gentry and shopkeepers, one-third artisansj 
and only one-third poor. The distribution of the 
classes changes gradually. There is a downward 
tendency amongst the better-off. The more wealthy 
leave. There used to be some very poor courts 
to the west of the park, but these have been 
demolished and their inhabitants scattered, and now 
the poor of this parish are to be found mainly in 
East Greenwich. For them special mission services 
are provided, which, it is frankly admitted, hardly 
any of them attend. St. Mary's, by the park, which 
is linked with St. Alfege, was formerly the fashionable 
church in this parish, but is now neglected. The two 
churches stand almost within a stone's throw of each 
other, and those who worshipped at St. Mary's have 
either left Greenwich or transferred their allegiance. 
The large congregation is now at St. Alfege. Here 
is offered a good parochial service and the broadest 
of Broad Church doctrine, and from these things 
male Londoners do not hold aloof. 

The vicar made no secret of his sense of the superior 
claims of social as compared to religious work; and it 
is rather remarkable that he assumed, without hesitation, 
the position which was suggested by stress of failure 
in St. Peter's parish. ' My belief,' he said, ' is that 
you must get honest and good ground before you can 
hope the seed will grow : that will come in good time.' 
And, meanwhile, his efforts were 'direcdy social, and 
only indirecdy reUgious.' The social efforts made 
here have assumed successively various forms. Clubs 
on a large scale, once believed In, have been abandoned, 
the difficulties having proved too great, and now it is 
from the provident agencies that most is expected. 
The object aimed at in every case is knowledge of 
the people, and the mutual benefit that arises from 
intercourse kept clear of hypocrisy or cadging. The 
old 'ticket' system of relief, and the providing of 



coals and blankets in winter, have been entirely stopped. 
As a neighbouring vicar put it, *He makes the 
people pay for their own relief,* that is, the visitors 
collect instead of give. The Provident Dispensary 
has three thousand members, who, of course, are not 
all of this parish. But it must not be supposed that 
there is no giving. On the contrary, the sums 
expended each year in charity are large, as is almost 
invariably the case when strict principles of adminis- 
tration are adopted in a parish where the poor are 
numerous ; for the assistance that is riven is adequate, 
and necessarily costly. The result or the adoption of 
this policy, carried out with the co-operation of the 
much-abused Charity Organization Society, is reported 
to have been to win respect for the Church, and to 
earn dislike * only from those by whom it is an honour 
to be disliked.' This work lies mainly among the 
poor to the east of the park, and will be further 
described in its place. 

The beauty of the western side of Greenwich Park, 
and the steep declivities in which Blackheath terminates, 
is quite remarkable. The view down Hyde Vale or 
from * The Point,* with all London spreaa out before 
the eye, and St. Paul's, distant five or six miles, 
standing up in the midst, is to my mind the most 
striking panorama that London affords. At this 
favoured spot, on Croome's Hill, stands an Ursuline 
Convent and the Catholic Church of Our Lady * Star 
of the Sea.* The church is a beautiful edifice, partly 
old, on the completion and adornment of which much 
has been spent; suggesting a command of money 
which. Canon O'Halloran says, is misleading, the funds 
having come from the wealth of an individud priest, who 
is not now living. In addition to the church, there 
are schools managed by the Sisters, but they are not 
for the poor. They consist of a boarding scnool with 


eighty scholars, and a day school for middle-class girls. 
The Githolic population in the district is small and 
scattered, and the church mainly used by the compara- 
tively well-to-do. The congregation includes many 
of * convert blood.' 

The priests visit the training-ship Dreadnought^ where 
there are usually forty or fifty Catholic boys who come 
under their care. This represents a large part of their 

The poorest section of Roman Catholics dwell near 
the river in St. Peter's parish, and are more likely to 
attend Mass at a church on a lower level, actually as 
well as socially, in Deptford or East Greenwich, than 
to climb the hill which leads to the rich man's church. 
The few of them who attend here are probably often 
beggars or cadging Catholics attracted ftom the poor 
parishes which lie east and west. They drift into the 
district for a time, pick up what they can, and dis- 
appear again. 

The 'Brethren' have one of their largest halls in 
King George Street. In reply to an inquiry they 
tell us that they very much prefer to say nothing 
about the work, as ' no true account can be given till 
we are before the Judgment Seat of Christ' — an 
attitude which commands respect, and one ftom which 
the members of this remarkable religious body always 
regard their inner spiritual work. Beside a mission 
room near by there is another of their churches to 
which I shall refer when I come to East Greenwich. , 

The only other religious centre in the western 
portion of the parish of St. Alfege is the Wesleyan 
church in London Street. It is not at present very 
successftil. Its minister speaks of the district as * over- 
done with religious effort.' There is, he says, 
*too much competition for the moral health of the 
people,' an opinion which evidendy refers to the 
district to the south of his church, where, in St. 


Paul's parish, almost every Nonconformist body 
has its fling. The Wesleyan cause has suffered here, 
as in so many places, from the outward drift of the 
well-to-do, and the work is now conducted on * mission 
lines,* with two Sisters and a very fervent inner band 
of some seventy young people. Its hopes rest on 
the results of outdoor services. There is, the minister 
thinks, a demand for religion, but, unfortunately it is 
coupled with an invincible objection to entering a 
church ; with the local Theatre and a brass band he 
believes he could draw crowds. In saying this he no 
doubt had in mind the neglected population which 
lies to the north, towards which the visitations of the 
Sisters are chiefly directed. There is a temperance 
meeting at this church, a great attempt being made 
to attract the actual sots ; and there is a Sunday school 
with three hundred and sixty-four scholars on the roll. 
Of the competitors to the south, by far the most 
important is the Baptist church, presided over by one 
of the great Spurgeon*s twin sons ; of whom the other 
now occupies his father's pulpit. This church was 
established twenty-one years ago, and Mr. Charles 
Spurgeon, then quite a young man, became its first 
pastor. It has nad a career of unbroken success. 
Changes in the surrounding population have, however, 
involved changes in the congregation, and in the 
methods adopted. The better class streets have de- 
teriorated ; shops have changed character and changed 
hands. As tested by the collection plate the total 
amount received is kept up, and it was noted with pride 
that this was so even during a prolonged absence of 
the pastor owing to ill-health, but a piece of gold or 
even a half-crown is now seldom seen, and *they 
would know who gave it.' The numbers, also, both 
of congregation and membership, are well maintained, 
though the proportion * passing through' is great. 
In 1899, on a membership of six hundred and seventy. 


there ncre one hnmfred and t hre e added against ome 
hundred lost. A large nmnber come frocn a distance. 
Not xoaisf fiamiBes are lost by removal, though individ* 
uals come and go* There is nmch movement among 
die young peopl^ who ferm the larger proportion 
of the oxigr^ation, and who go oflF to situations^ or 
many and ksnre the neighbourhood. That this sue- 
ccssnil diurdh draws from the odter less thriTing 
Ncmconfbrmxst bo(£es can hardly be doubted* Wtule 
it p t usp ei s^ Presbyterians, Congregationalists and 
Wesleyans are aO, more or less, £uling. They main* 
tain a somewhat strugglii^ existence ; and as the 
Baptists under Mr. Spurgeon are never very ready to 
co-operate, some bitterness of feeling cm scarcely be 

Mr. Spurgeon's Church is a genuine religious force. 
In addition to the morning and evening services, 
when the ckmel is full, the pastor holds a Bible-class 
on Sunday afternoon for young men (shop-assistants, 
defies, &C.), attended by horn two hundred to two 
hundred and fifty. The young women also meet in 
large numbers on Sunday afternoon for their Biblo 
cbuses, for *when you get the young men, you are 
sure to have the young women too.* The firm grip 
obtained on all the younger generation is most 
important. The Sunday school is very large ; there 
are more than nine hundred on the books, and of 
these half are over fifteen. The Church prides itself 
with reason on retaining the elder scholars, and it may 
be assiuned that the (£ildren in the Sunday school 
are in part at least those belonging to the families of 
members, a great source of strength. Excepting in 
the way of minor charities, Christmas dinners, &c., the 
poor are not direcdy touched by the work here. 
There are no * missions* connected with it. Mr. 
Spurgeon regards the multiplication of small missions 
as an evil, and mentioned as one objection to them, 


the swollen self-importance they induced amongst 
precocious young people. He considers training 
necessary for work of this kind, and has a * preachers' 
class' expressly for young men qualifying to take 
mission-hall services. Those thus trained are kept 
occupied as local preachers, and hold open-air meetings 
in the neighbourhood. 

The Young Men's Bible-class is a centre of great 
activity. Football, cricket and bicycle clubs, a benefit 
society and book fund, as well as the ^ Gospel Mission 
Band,' all take their rise from it. 

The Strict Baptists have a little church close by, 
which, as usual, goes on its quiet way, neither inter- 
fering with others nor being interfered with by them. 
Its members are comfortable business and working 
people, many of whom come fi-om a distance. 

The vicar of St. Paul's, who has been in his present 
position for twenty-two years, speaking of the diffi- 
culties he has had to contend with, referred to ^all 
the chapels of Greenwich ' as being in his parish. It is 
rather a straggling district with which he has to deal, 
but has a population of six thousand only. The parish 
stretches, as we have mentioned, beyond the railway into 
the area included with our description of St. Peter's, 
where it has a small Sunday school and a mission 
hall, in which a handful of^ people gather together 
for service on Sunday evening. South of the railway 
line, the parishioners are for the most part artisans, 
clerks and small tradesmen. There was formerly a rich 
class, but they have mosdy gone, and in place of one 
family occupying a house, there are now generally two 
or more. The morning congregation at St. Paul's used 
to be the larger of the two ; now it is in the evening 
that the greatest numbers come. The congregations 
are parochial, not drawn fi-om outside, as is the case to 
a considerable extent with all the Nonconformists, and 
the numbers, though far from great, compare fevourably 


with all except the Baptists. The growing indifference 
of the people on matters of religion, and the consequent 
slackness, extend, we are told, to those who are church- 
goers. Thev 'take their religion lightly,' and are 
much inclined to believe that it * will all come right in 
the end.' The change that has come shows itself in 
various ways. Twenty years ago the vicar was often 
called upon in the night to give consolation to the sick 
and dying ; now this never happens. Then no week 
passed without letters whether of praise, inquiry or 
abuse, referring to his sermons ; now they have com- 
pletely ceased. Those who used to come to church 
twice on Sunday, now come only once. Those who 
had friends with them used as a matter of course to 
bring them to church ; now the fact of entertaining 
friends is made an excuse by the hosts for staying 
away themselves ; and there is the bicycle. Finally, 
the attendance at prayer meetings is constantly declin- 
ing, and it is increasingly difficult to get people to * lead 
in prayer.' 

But it must be said that what is here deplored as 
failure would by many be accounted success, and that 
if the higher standard be accepted many special 
explanations might be put forward, as, for instance, 
that the changes noticed are due to a change in the 
class of the parishioners rather than to any change 
of sentiment, while the fact that the Baptists do, and 
that possibly the High Church might, succeed where 
he considers that he has failed may be said to raise 
some questions of religious taste rather than to 
indicate a decay in religious sense. 

In Holy Trinity, the southern-most parish of West 
Greenwich, there are two churches corresponding with 
the parts into which the area is practically divided. 
That on Blackheath Hill gives its name to the parish, 
and the other, Emmanuel, is by the side of the 
Ravensbourne River, near the Recreation Ground. 


The congregations are not large at either church, and 
the vicar modestly attributes the slack attendance at 
Holy Trinity to people becoming tired of hearing 
Sunday after Sunday the same voice. But the plain 
truth is that his is not a church-going population, and 
it is very probable that of those who come, many live 
outside of the parish, north, east or west, for the parish 
is distinctly poorer than its surroundings. 

Taking the two churches together there are one 
thousand children for Sunday school, and there is 
also a fairly prosperous National school. Emmanuel 
is a mission church and is helped with funds and 
teachers for its Sunday school firom St. Michael's, 

About this district we have not much information, 
but had there been much more to know we should 
probably have learnt it. The Baptists have a church, 
which is at present without a pastor, in Lewisham 
Road. It claims a membership of nearly three hundred, 
has three hundred and fifty children in its Sunday 
school, and has established a small mission in Cold 
Bath Street. There is also an undenominational 
Gospel Mission and Sunday School in Blissett Street. 
Otherwise we hear of nothing. 

When we are told, as we are, that the neighbourhood 
is *over churched and over chapelled,' we have 
evidently only a repetition of what was said in 
St. Paul's parish, where in truth the concourse of 
churches and chapels is found ; and we may fairly 
assume that their adherents, actual and possible, are 
scattered far and wide, and are small in . number 
compared to the whole population ; and that, in 
dealing with the poor wherever they may find them, 
their work is also widespread and apt to over-lap. 



The portion of the parish of St. Alfi^e to the east 
of Greenwich Hospital is, by that fact, very much cut 
oflF from the churches both of St. Alf<^ and St. Mary, 
but the distance does not prevent the better circum- 
stanced children found amongst the poor population 
to the east from making their way to the West 
Greenwich Sunday schools. St. Mary's Institute, 
which deals with the eastern side, has thus none but 
the poorest and " they are a good deal with us," says 
the report, ** for, as they would otherwise be in the 
streets, they come on Sunday evening as well as 
Sunday afternoon and every night of the week except 
Sattirday ; and if we had more teachers we should 
see a good deal more of the children even than we 
now do." One-third of the one hundred and forty, 
who are in r^ular attendance, are under eight years of 
dgt ; and many are only three, four or five years old. 
The work done by the Institute is summed up in 
Froebel's motto, „Stommt laiit un6 ben Jtinbern leben.*' The 
elder ones take their place in this system — in this large 
family of poor neighbouring children. Beyond such 
Kindergarten work there is a litde knot of young men 
as constant in their attendance as the children them- 
selves, but for the rest the operations of the parish 
church here seem practically confined to the cdls of 
collectors for the Provident Fund and the judicious 
administration of charity. 

There is a Board school in Old Woolwich Road in 
this parish, which, like the Randel Place School in West 
Greenwich, has been noted for truants, and in which 
an interesting and it seems successful experiment has 
been made. There is little difference between the 
poverty here and that found in St. Peter's parish, the 
class of children being practically the same. Truants 


are no weakling;s, and in order to check truancy the 
present master determined to make his school attractive 
*on the muscular side.' The gymnasium became a 
class-room, and football, cricket and swimming took 
their places in the curriculum. It is now the ambition 
of every boy to represent his school in the contests 
that are arranged, and matches are played on Saturdays. 
The example of the great public schools is modestly 
followed. Each eleven, or team, has its particular 
colours, and every boy in each eleven a special suit 
of clothes. This suit, complete in every particular, 
packed in a bag, is taken home on Friday night for use 
on Saturday, and comes back on Monday morning. 
The regulations as to cleanliness are very strict. At the 
outset each boy had to strip before the master, but this 
is no longer necessary. The lesson of self-respect has 
been learnt. The effect of this system on ragged boys 
is marked. They see that they can look like any other 
boys when well dressed, which had probably never 
entered into their heads before ; and self-respect brings 
self-restraint in its train. The system only applies 
directly to the chosen elevens, but indirectly the tone 
of all is set by it, and a feeling of loyalty to the 
school and to the masters springs up. 

It is to be noted that the aim here is exactly the same 
as that of the West Greenwich School. Self-respect is 
again recognised as the most important lesson. To 
attain this end many different roads may be taken, but 
for boys none better can be found than that which lies 
in the discipline of ordered games. Who can say what 
victories for England may not be won even on the 
poor * playing fields ' of Greenwich ? 

The district of one of the City missionaries lies 
mostly in this part of St. Alfege's parish. He is an 
old man who has been here more than thirty years, and 
is mainly supported by the Congregational Church on 
Blackheath. He visits six hundred and fifty femilies, 


occupying in this way from three to six hours a day, and 
manages to complete his round in about five weeks. 
All, he says, are glad to see him. ^ Everybody knows 
him.* They tell him their troubles, and look to him 
for advice, and will listen to the Word of God when 
he reads it ; but they don't go to church or chapel. 
*A11 you will ever get to church in Greenwich have 
been got there long ago,' he says, and he thinks that 
too much rather than too little is being done in this 
direction. Others visiting in his district, are a scripture 
reader from St. Alf<^e's, some *Grey' and *Blue' 
ladies in the part belonging to Christ Church, and 
several nurses. No place, he avers, has ever been so 
thoroughly and so constantly worked as East Green- 
wich, the religious efforts of wealthy congregations 
from Blackheath having always overflowed in that 
direction. In this, as we have seen, it differs very 
much from the poor parts of West Greenwich, but 
in East Greenwich the extension of religious effort is 
general. The whole place is indeed described by the 
minister of the Maze Hill Congregational Church as 
being * covered with mission halls and workers,' among 
whom any attempt to secure co-operation has failed. 

Christ Church is a huge parish with a population of 
over twenty-five thousand, and is growing at the rate 
of a thousand a year. The people are said to be two- 
thirds working ckss and one-third clerks, shopkeepers 
and gentry. For this parish there are two churches, 
two mission rooms and schools, and a very large staff, 
including ladies both * Grey ' and * Blue,' three nurses, 
and a deaconess. 

Christ Church itself obtains quite fair congregations 
of middle-class people both morning and evening. It 
is a pew-rented church with a few free seats, and does 
not aim much at popularity. The vicar frankly admits 
that short of some great revival he sees no chance or 
winning the working classes to religious observances ; 


but apart from this a good deal is done to bring the 
Church in touch with the people. There are day 
schools with seven hundred children, and Sunday 
schools with double that number ; and every week 
a thousand parochial visits -are made, systematically, 
though not from house to house. In this direction 
the nurses' work is reported as 'admirable,' and 
through them dinners for the sick are distributed. It 
may be added that there are one hundred weddings 
and as many as seven hundred baptisms every year. 
Altogether in some manner from half to two-thirds of 
the population come into contact with the Church.* 

The mission district of St. Andrew is to be made 
a separate parish, and the original mission church has 
been pulled down to make room for the new church 
now building. At present the services are held in 
the school, and are attended by very few. 

Bugsby's Marsh, at the northern extremity of the 
Greenwich marshes, where the mission church is 
situated, was till recently one of the most out-of- 
the-way spots conceivable. At the end of a peninsula 
of marsh on the river bank opposite Blackwall, there 
were a few factories, a little colony of pilots, one or two 
groups of workmen's houses, and a public-house called 
the Sea Witch, with booths and benches sloping to the 
river, where pleasure parties coming by water could be 
entertained. From reach to reach, as the river circles 
round, and southv/ard to Greenwich, all was marsh 
land, cut up by deep dykes to make market-gardening 
possible on the sodden soil. Only to the central part 
does this description still apply. Many changes have 
come and others are pending. The entire river front 
has now been taken up by factories of various kinds. 
The booths and benches of the Sea Witch are powdered 
over with a fine deposit from cement works, and the 


smell of tar and other odours fills the air. Hundreds 
of workers troop in daily, and by 6 a.m. the place is 
alive ; at mid-day come wives or children with dinner 
bundles, and later the road is filled with men hurrying 
homewards. This development has been hastened by 
the opening of communication with Blackwall by the 
great roadway carried under the Thames ; a very 
remarkable engineering achievement, which has not 
only assisted in bringing this district into use, but has 
made all Greenwich more of a thoroughfare. It is 
hoped that ultimately the marshes when built upon 
will become one of the best parts of East Greenwich, 
but the start made has not been altogether happy. The 
London G)unty Council has tried to set an example, 
and its buildings are good, but have been expensive, 
and some of the new streets are a disgrace. * Do-as- 
you-like streets,' the missionary calls them, where the 
landlords, to obtain tenants at all, have taken anybody 
and everybody. It is said that the tunnel has brought 
in undesirable people, but I am more inclined to blame 
the unsatisfactory character of these houses, and the 
evils of a low marshy situation which one should 
suppose it would be the work of years to redeem. 

The late Mr. Brooke Lambert, of St. Alfege, and 
Mr. Reaney, of Christ Church, with Mr. Hills, curate- 
in-charge at the minor church of St. Andrew, were 
Broad Churchmen, and worked more or less on the 
same lines. The views expressed by all three as to the 
condition of the people, social and religious, are very 
similar. All three denounce the attempt to spread 
religion by means of charitable gifts, and strive to keep 
clear of it themselves. All three cause their visitors 
to collect savings in place of distributing alms. Their 
opinions are frankly expressed : * Working men,' they 
say, ^ so &r as they think about it at all, are Protestants 
and Bible men.' * It is not more ritual, but less, that is 
wanted.' * Curates arc sanguine. Now it is a bell 


they want, and now a choir (to make a mission service 
successful), but all efforts end alike in failure/ * The 
most effectual work is done outside the church ; more 

food can be done in five minutes of private talk than 
y twenty sermons.' * Among non-churchgoers are 
found many more strong and independent, and on the 
whole satisractory, characters than among churchgoers.' 
But these witnesses speak of the prevailing immorality 
as awful. * Men need to be taught to lead decent and 
moral lives.' Thus the problem remains, and however 
liberally the work of the Church may be regarded, 
fully half the population are untouched by it. There 
is plenty of room for other efforts. 

North of Trafalgar Road the map shows a good 
deal of blue, but much more purple and very little 
pink. Almost everywhere the poor are present, but 
nowhere is the amount of poverty overwhdming. No 
population could be more interesting or, it might be 
supposed, more hopeful to deal with, but the religious 
competition that results does not conduce to success. 

Marlborough Hall, Old Woolwich Road, is one of 
the missions of the ^ Open Brethren.' It originated 
eleven years ago when Mr. Turner, who conducts it, 
was moved to start Gospel meetings in * Good Duke 
Humphrey's Hall,* at the corner of the park. At the 
end of six months over one hundred converts were 
claimed, and these being called together decided to put 
the work on a permanent basis. Each member con- 
tributed threepence or sixpence a week according to 
means, and this system has been continued ever since. 
Out of the fund thus raised, supplemented by a 
collection on Sunday mornings, rent and other outgoings 
have been paid, and something is left for charity. 
There are about forty workers, all volunteers, 
mostly young people who have been trained in the 
mission. The hall, for which they pay rent to one 
of themselves, is a well kept, comfortable square build- 


ing with a deep gallery and some rooms attached. It 
is crowded on Sunday afternoon with children, and 
in the evening feirly filled with adults for a cheerful 
and musical Gospel service. The morning service — 
called in this community *the breaking of bread,' 
already referred to in a previous chapter — is less 
numerously attended, but when the table of the 
Lord is hospitably set out with large wholesome loaves 
of bread it is a remarkable scene. 

Before the evening service, the year through, and 
also after it in Summer, open-air services are held to 
spread the light. These services are managed by the 
young people. They also visit, and in one way or 
other the numbers of those who attend the services 
of the hall are maintained. It is evident that this 
church offers to some just what their souls demand. 
One by one they are found ; be it by preaching at the 
street corner, or visiting in the homes. Some slip 
back, but others remain, and to these may be added 
a few who retain the impress of the teaching received 
in the Sunday school and remain loyal to the body 
to which they owe their religious conceptions. The 
total numbers thus reached and held are not great, and 
the influence exerted is neither so wide nor so deep 
as the workers would have us believe, and would fein 
believe themselves, but, so far as it goes, this certainly 
is sound, genuine religious work. 

The action of the Wesleyans at Victoria Hall, 
though on a larger scale, is less spontaneous. It is 
an efibrt to evangelize the poor, and adopts the usual 
social programme for this purpose, in connection with 
which they admit * too much is given.' The most 
successful item numerically, is the * Pleasant Saturday 
Evening,' when, with a strong musical programme, the 
hall is filled. To the religious services there come 
the accustomed faithful few on Sunday morning, an 
ultra-select gathering for a musical P. S. A. in the 
V 5 



afternoon, and a quite good evening congregation. 
All are the pick of the people, rather than the non- 
churchgoing poor for whose sake, I think, the funds 
were raised to build the hall. It is a very remarkable 
structure, and in its design ideas have been taken from 
the music-halls. Entering, with wide doors on the 
level of the street, the floor of the hall slopes down- 
wards towards the stage or platform. For popular 
purposes it would seem to be an excellent design, 
and at the same time a church-like effect is preserved 
by the Gothic character of the roof. 

A few yards further along the Woolwich Road 
stands a Baptist church. Started some years ago as 
a mission at a small hall in Azof Street, it made a great 
success. Those responsible were led on to build the 
present church, but have got into financial difficulties, 
and are less strong than they were in the old building, 
where they had crowded meetings. They have doubt- 
less suffered from the competition of Victoria Hall and 
of Rothbury Hal!, both of which have money to spend. 

The Baptists themselves give litde. Theirs is 
a poor Church, and moreover they are conscious of the 
extent to which Greenwich is pauperized by public 
charities, by the bounties of the rich, and the efforts of 
the missions, so that, as they say, people expect you to 
do something for them. The building is arranged to 
accommodate eight hundred, but not one hundred 
attend in the morning nor more than two hundred 
at the outside in the evening. There are from eighty 
to one hundred Church members. The Sunday school 
is very small, only half what it was in the old quarters ; 
the whole work has shrunk. 

The posters announcing their Sunday services, and 
setting forth the attractions, appeal in vain to the passer 
by. ' Can you — will you come ?' But, alas 1 they do 
not, either in the morning or in the evening, or 
even to the men's own or women's own services in 


the afternoon. Hardly any are drawn from the streets 
near the chapel. Those who do attend come still from 
the neighbourhood in which their old mission stood; 
and the open doors of the two rival mission halls gape 
between. It is the story of a mistake. 

The Congregational mission at Rothbury Hall, which 
I have coupled with Victoria Hall, has been, perhaps, 
the worst of the two as a pauperizing influence, whUe, 
considered as a religious influence, it appears to have 
been more exotic and less effective. But the hard 
lesson is being learnt. The evangelist who has charge 
of the work is conscious of the evil that results if his 
people look for everything they require to the rich 
parent church at Blackheath, and he has been trying to 
* cut out the cancer.' The elaborate buildings were the 
gift of Mr. Vavasour, a member of the Blackheath 
congregation ; and cost, we are told, over ^^20,000. 
The Gospel services are not attended by any large 
numbers ; and the Sunday school is the principal piece 
of work. It is very large, having one thousand children 
on the books and an average attendance of eight 
hundred. An eflTort has been made to retain the older 
boys by means of a youths' institute and gymnasium, 
for which purpose the original Baptist mission which 
stood close by has been acquired. There are also girls' 
classes for cookery, hygiene, ambulance, &c., and for 
adults there are mothers' meetings and coal, boot and 
blanket clubs. In various ways a good deal of money 
is spent on social work. 

Near to the premises of the Congregationalists, 
with their * regardless of cost' look, there stands 
the little corrugated-iron hall of the Salvation Army, 
showing more signs of decay than of life. The 
corps is a very small one. Its captain, a lady very 
recently appointed to this charge, claimed * splendid 
open-air meetings,' and an altogether friendly reception, 
but there would seem to be litde or no permanent 
V 5 • 


force in the work of the Salvation Army here or 
anywhere else in South-East riverside London. Those 
who are religious-minded have found what they need 
in other ways, and those who are not the shafts of 
the Army do not touch. 

Though organized co-operation has been found 
impracticable amongst all this religious competition, 
there is here, as at Deptford, good reeling and friend- 
liness and an entire absence of anything like bitterness, 
due perhaps to the feet that there is no extreme 
ritualism in the Church of England. The broad spirit 
which prevails is fiu-ther indicated by the circumstance 
that the Roman Catholic priest does not hesitate to 
apply to the Grey Ladies of the English Church for 
help with his sick. 

The Roman Catholics count only a thousand in their 
census ; and their numbers are perhaps not increasing. 
The market-garden work, on which many of the Irish 
Catholics depended, is dwindling. Father Ryan, who 
was formerly at Deptford, compares his present flock 
fevourably with the people there, and says that the 
people of East Greenwich, though rough and some- 
times drunken, do not sponge. He finds them, too, very 
considerate, as, for instance, in not calling him up at night 
save in cases of rare emergency — a point or view, it 
may be noted, in somewhat striking contrast to that 
taken by the vicar of St. Paul's.* The attendance at 
Mass is fairly good ; and the Church actively organized, 
so far as one man can do it. This Church pays its 
way and supports its own schools. The collections of 
money are systematized in the way noted by us at 
Father Higley's church in Limehouse, a method which 
obtains also m Deptford and Bermondsey. The five 
districts into which this (R. C.) parish is divided are 
covered weekly by the lay-collectors, and the priest 
accompanies each in turn, week by week. The round 

♦ See page 57. 


is made early on Sunday afternoon, when most people 
are at home, and on the occasion when the priest 
himself comes, * white money * is forthcoming (so that 
every fifth collection amounts, f>erhaps, to as much as 
the other four put together). The priest is welcomed 
and the money readily volunteered. The round, too, 
gives him a chance to see and notice things, and he 
can truthftiUy say, *we do know our people.* Some 
charity is available for those who seem to need it, 
but the connection of the people with the Church is 
based not on receiving, but on giving. 

Two London City Missions complete our talc. 
The one missionary is ouite an old man and has 
worked here thirty years, tbrmerly under the superin- 
tendence of Christ Church, but now in connection with 
Victoria Hall. A few women come to his weck-da^ 
services. The husbands, he says, do not object * if it 
is not a mothers* meeting,* but they dislike these as 
leading to gossip. He visits all, irrespective of creed, 
and as a rule finds all ready to listen, but not willing 
to take the trouble to go to church. The other 
missionary is a vigorous active young man whose 
district lies in the marsh. He visits chiefly amongst 
the fectories there, having access to all except one from 
which for trade reasons all strangers are excluded. 
The men receive him well ; they miss him if he does 
not come, and will ask the reason why, but he * cannot 
see much change in them.* He, however, thinks the 
marsh people are better attenders at religious worship 
than those in other parts of Greenwich, many going to 
Victoria, Rothbury and Marlborough Halls. There is 
a Sunday school connected with his work, and there 
are Gospel services on Sunday. The mission has eight 
or nine voluntary helpers, and is in feet a Church in 

He speaks of the people he visits, the dwellers on 
the marsh, as living very simple lives. They find 


employment in the factories, and, except on Saturday, 
are in bed by half-past nine, and up again at half- 
past five. He says that both district and people 
are growing better, and speaks of improvement 
connected with the closing of four public-houses, but 
adds that drink is bad among the coalies, some of 
whom may earn £^ or £6 in a week and not have a 
halfpenny left next Monday morning ; while in East 
Greenwich, where much of the employment is irregular 
in its character, he thinks that no improvement can be 
traced. The Brethren say that the people are doing 
well financially owing to good trade, but are worse 
morally, and another City missionary reports that 
high wages have led to loafing and drink, while yet 
another of those at work here speaks of an influx of 
immoral people and of disorderly scenes at night, 
tending to drive respectable people away. 



As we pass from the river side and proceed beyond 
the area of our map to the east and south-east 
towards Woolwich, Charlton, and Shooter's Hill, we 
leave behind us nearly all signs of poverty. 

Facing the park is Maze Hill Congregationalist 
Church, which dates back nearly a century. It has no 
poor among its members ; but has a quiet, comfortable 
congregation in which the lower middle class pre- 
dominates. Those who come to the services on 
Sunday are in the proportion of three women to one 
man, while on week days the few who attend are nearly 
all women. Large mothers' meetings and Sunday 
schools supply the only contact with the poor. 


St. Gcorgc^s parish, Westcombe Park, has a 
population of working class to the north of the 
r ail way and middle class and wealthy to the south. 
The services of the church are severely Evangelical, and 
by no class are they weU attended. Amongst this 
population there is at present no poverty except such 
as may be caused by drink cm* idleness. The people 
are within reach of the Arsenal at Woolwich, and since 
die South African war b^an work has been plentiful. 
It has been an excellent time, sslj more than one of our 
informants, to pick out the loafers ; but the future is 
feared, with reminiscence of a hard winter some years 
ago, when two thousand people needing food waited 
outside Greenwich workhouse. 

St. John's has a similarly divided population, and 
again none that are really poor. Some of the best 
London artisans come here to look for homes ; and 
among the working class there is thus an upward ten* 
dency, but in the wealthy portion of the parish the move* 
ment is downward. Twenty years ago the offertories 
always contained )Ci5 to )^2o in gold, but now only ^^4 
or £s. The church has however as yet encountered no 
difficulties, financial or numerical. It is always well 
filled or full. On the working-class side of the parish 
there is a mission hall, and this, too, is filled on Sunday 
evening ; a result attributed mainly to the democratic 
management by a committee of working men. 

The Wesleyans, whose church is in the Old Dover 
Road, are by fer the strongest competitors. The 
church is small, only holding three hundred, but is 
full both morning and evening with lower middle-class 
people, small tradesmen and artisans, and a new building 
IS to be erected accommodating twice that number. 
This, too, it is anticipated will be filled, for the ^ cause * 
is a growing one. There is an active organization. 
Besides the minister, a Sister of the People is em- 
ployed, and there are many volunteers. Financially the 


church owes much to the support of a wealthy family of 
the neighbourhood. There are large Sunday schools 
and a Band of Hope for the children ; slate clubs for 
the men, and open-air services for the world at large. 
The wide net of the slate club does not help to increase 
the congregation, but the open-air work * has a wonder- 
fully strengthening effect on those who stand out in this 
way,' whatever the result may be on those who listen. 
The people of the neighbourhood, we are told by the 
minister of this church, are unusually godly and 
earnest. Hardly ever do the people he visits decline 
his offer to pray with them. He admits that there is 
a good deal of competition, and says that when a new 
femily comes, there is a race to be first with them. It 
is claimed, however, that this, rivalry is not of an 
unfriendly character. 

The Baptists are referred to as competitors both by 
the Church of England and the Wesleyans, but the 
Baptist church in question is located in the parish of 
St. James, Kidbrooke, just beyond the boundaries of 
our present district, and will be heard of later. 

The Presbyterians, who are also mentioned, have 
a small church in Vanbrugh Park, but are hardly likely 
to attempt much proselytizing. It is the religious 
centre of a small number or faithful Presbyterians 
living within a radius of some miles. The membership 
is small and the services sparsely attended. 

Blackheath on the whole is Church and Evangelical, 
but among the rich there is much indifferentism, and 
Sunday parties interfere with the church or chapel- 
going or servants. It was the Presbyterian minister 
who mentioned this, but it would no doubt apply to 
others also. 




As Deptford and Greenwich were combined under 
one Board of Works when our inquiry was made, 
I have only here to supplement what has been written 
in the last chapter by a few extracts from local opinions 
concerning the administration at Greenwich. They are 
not altogether consistent. Mr. Brooke Lambert, speak- 
ing mainly of East Greenwich, stated that the work was 
conscientiously done, but Mr. Reaney, of Christ Church, 
said there was much jobbery, and that consequently 
local government was not good. Both are now dead, 
otherwise we might probably find that they had different 
portions of the work in mind. The vicar of Christ 
Church spoke also of fever and diphtheria being chronic, 
and the master of the poor school in East Greenwich 
says that there is an undue amount of sporadic 
sickness. In 1899 ^here were in this school eight cases 
of diphtheria, four of typhoid, and nine of scarlet 
fever ; and other years showed a similar record. Other 
witnesses speak or health as being good. 

The vicar of St. Paul's says that in his parish the 
houses, though old, are seldom insanitary, and in this 
is confirmed by the vicar of St. Peter's. As to the 
inferior character of much of the building on low-lying, 
marshy ground, we have a large amount of testimony, 
but even so, there is good as well as bad. Rents, 
much affected by the opening of the Blackwall Tunnel, 
have risen greatly, and tend to increase still further, 
with crowding as the result. Apart from some neglect 
in sweeping the streets, the work of the Board is 
reported as having been efficient. All brothels com- 
plained of were closed. 

The administration of the Poor Law in Deptford and 
Greenwich, involving as it does a considerable amount 
of out-relief, is * both well and badly done,' depending 


on the relieving officer, and is characterized by one 
witness as * kind * and by another as ^ brutal.' Out- 
relief is granted too easily, but the guardians are 
reported, here as elsewhere, to be learning by experience 
the dangers of this course. They have, however, always 
preferred to g^ve relief in this way whenever they 
reasonably could, and are opposed to what is known as 
the Whitechapd system. The Board is divided into 
several relief committees, but all these are held in the 
same building, and can assemble together if any case 
requires joint consideration, but this rarely happens. 
The work seems to be conscientiously done. 



Dg MajM-N. 

Qeneral Character.— The map comprises the districts of Hatcham, 
New Cross, Depiford, Greenwich. Blackheaih, Lee. Lewisham, Ladywell, 
Brockley, The Newplands. and pari of Niinhead. The greater part of it 
is divided effectuaJlj- from the rest of London on the North by the Thames, 
on the East by GrecDwich Park and Blackheath, on the South by (he open 
fields of ladywell and Hitter Green, and oo the West by a network of 
railway loof>s, arches and embankments, through very few of which com- 
mnnicaticn is possible. Every class from ' yellow ' to ' black ' is shown 
oo the map. There is old-establisbed poverty in Deptford and West 
Greenwich, and new as well as old poverty in East Greenwich. Wealth 
is found in Btackheath and part of Brockley. The fairly comfortable (pink) 
form a connecting link between the poor and the well-to-do. stretching 
from the low ground half way up the hills. The land rises and falls, and 

the o 

r lin 

social condition ; blue , 

Creek and along the course of the Ravensboume River, as well as Loampit 
Vale and the vajley by Brockley Station, while the hill-toi>s of Blackheath 
and Brockley stand out in Ted' and -yellow' with 'pink' and 'pink- 
barred' about their bases. Great development is In progress to the South 
in Lee, Lewisham, New Cross, and Brockley, where the tendency is to build 
for the middle and lower middle clacses, coloured ' red ' and ' red and 
pink ' and ' i^k ' on the map. 

Poverty Areas. — The largest poverty areas are found on either side of 
Deptford Creek, that in Christ Church parish, south of the railway, being 
the poorest and most vicious ; Giden. Regent. Hales, and Stanhope Streets 
are known to tramps and low-class prostitutes throughout London, while 
nearer New Cross perhaps an even tower level is reached at Buldon Street 
(uiife p. ty) ; they compare with the ' Dust-hole ' in Woolwich, with 
Dorset Street in Whilechapel, and with the Bangor Street area in Notting- 
dale. The rest is connected with rough Irish waterside and gas-works 
poverty in SI. Peter's parish, and with a rough class of men and women 
employed in the slaughter-houses of the cattle market in St. Nicholas' 
parish. Old and new poverty is found in East Greenwich, the old being 
in St. Alfege and Christ Church, and the new in St. Andrew's parishes : 
ttie new poverty is connected with jerry-building on the marshy clayland 
that makes Greenwich marshes, and also with the immigration of displaced 
poor from Poplar by way of the Blackwall Tunnel. Patches of old 
standing poverty are also found off Kendcr Street and Dennett Road, on 
the western edge of the map ; ofi Tanner's Hill in St, John's ; on either 
side of Blackheath Station in Holy Trinity : in Loampit Vale, off Lee 
Road, and off Nightingale Grove in St. Swithin's parish. Hither Green. 

Employments.— The inhabitants of the ' pink ' and ' blue ' streets for 
the most part work within the district, though some find their employment 
in Woolwich, the ' pink-barred ' and the ' red ' go in to Central London by 
train, more especially those living in Hither Green. Lewisham, and 
Brockley. The great local centres of employment in Deptford are the 
river, the victualling yard, the cattle market, the electric supply, 
engineering, chemical, candle, manure, and asphalt works, floor mills, 
limber and wood-chopping yards. In Hatcnam there are a large 
number of railway men. In Old Greenwich there are gas and engineering 
works, while lunher East on the Marshes are gas, cement, lioolenm. 


telegraph, cable and soap works. Among occupations for won 
the cleaning of slaughtered animals, bag and sack making, and gold 
and silver thread spinning. There is an Italian colony of ice-cream 
vendors and asphalt workers near Knott Street, and another west of the 
High Street in Depiford. 

Housing and Rents.— Old houses, some wilb pannelled passages and 
carved door lintels, are to be found in Depiford and Greenwich, they 
become newer and newer in rings extending southwards. 

In Depifobd, in a "light-blue' street. loj M was paid for a house of six 
rooms, fitted for two families. In St, Mark's parish, tbe pink streets are 
regularly laid out, tbe houses, which are two-storeyed, caving a small 
gardeu or forecourt in front and mauy a long piece of ground behind ; the 
people seldom move. In West GREENWtCR, 41 6d was paid for two rooms 
in a 'dark-blue' cottage, aad io another, of similar character, 71 for tbe same 
amount of room, while othere pay 31 and 31 6d per room (iSgg). In a new 
■purple' street the whole house was let for 12s. There are many small, 
two-storeyed houses, occupied by one family, with four rooms and a back 
yard, at ji to 71 (td per week. The size of room differs a good deal, but 
generally the front room is la ft. by 9 fl. In East Greenwich, in the new 
streets which have started poor. 10] 6d was asked for six rooms and jt for 
one room : the opening of the Blackwall Tunnel raised rents 11 per week. 
In Lbwisham, the new houses built for the working classes are almost 
without exception of two storeys, with a bow window on the ground floor, 
protected from the street by a low iron railing: built for two families on 
the ■daf system, each paying 7s; rent coUee led by an ^enl every week : 
a six-roomed house uith ao ft. of garden can be bad for 91 to toi 6d; 
S rooms for 12s to 14s Cif ; 4 rooms for 7s 6i to 81 ; single room for ti 6if 
to 3] dd. In Le£ rents are high, new six-roomed houses with a halb-room 
let at ijsCd: bouses under ^50 a year ate seldom empty, but large houses, 
such as those in Manor Park, that used to let at /loo to /150, now find 
tenants with difficulty even at greatly reduced rentals. Near Lewisbam 
Park, a two-storeyed house in a ' pink ' street fetches Bj W to 1 1 j ; one 
family to a house usual. On the St. Germain's Estate in Hither Green 
houses are being built for the lower middle class at rentals varying 
from ;^a8 tor single-fronted, to AG or jfjS for double-fronted houses; 
the residences in Bmwnhill Road, which are the largest hereabouts, are 
let at about /Co, This estate is destined to have three thousand houses 
(1699), and it 13 just outside Ibe south-eastern edge of the map. 

Markets. — High Street and the Broadway are the street markets of 
Deptford; others are Nelson Street and Church Street, in West Green- 
wich ; Trafalgar Road, ncir Christ Church, in East Greenwich ; and the 
pavement at tbe corner of the Lee Road, in High Street, Lewlsham. So 
much of the outer districts is new that they have not yet settled down to 
markets of their own, and many travel considerable distances to make 
their purchases. Itinerant vendors are features of these suburbs. 

Pub lie -ho uses. — Public-houses and beerhouses line the main roads in 
Deptford and Greenwich ; small clusters of them are found, together with 
grocers' licences, round places of public resort, such as the Broadway 
Deptford, Church Street Greenwich, Blackheath Station, and Lewisbam 
Pavement. In new districts grocers' and • ofl ' jug licences are more 
numerous than fully -lice used bouses. Tbcre are also a number of wine 
and spirit merchants selling single bottles. On tte new estate in Hither 
Green no licensed house is allowed. 

Eating-bouses which cater for visitors are features in Nelson Street, 
which leads from tbe steamboat pier to tbe Park in East Greenwich. 
Notices of ' tea, roll and butter. 51I,' ' cofl^ce, roll and butter, i\d.' ' lea. 


shrimps and cake, 6i.' ' cut from the joint and two vegetables, 9<I,' ' tea for 
large parties, 4^ per head/ are common. 

Places of Amasemeiit.— There is a music hall and theatre in 
Deptford and also in Greenwich. The people of Brockl^, Lewisham, and 
Lee and the outer districts come in to the theatres. &c., of inner London or 
attend occasional entertainments given in the local public halls ; and there 
are a large number of athletic clubs both for men and women. 

Open Spaces. — On the west side there is Deptford Park and a number 
of ' islands ' made by loops in the railway lines and now used as market 
gardens. In Old Deptford are Sayes Court Recreation Ground and St. 
Nicholas Gardens, both small. Further south Tdegraph Hill has been 
secured to the public, and Hilly Fields in Lewisham forms another high 
and healthy recreation ground. Part of the low ground in Ladvwell is a 
public park, and there is much land between it and Nunhead which is still 
open field, most of it lying low. On the east side there is the river front 
of Greenwich Hospital, much used by local residents, and the splendid 
open spaces of Blackheath and Greenwich Park. Lewisham Park is 
reserved for the use of those living round it. Manor Gardens, Lee, was 
opened this year (1902) under the auspices of the London County Council. 
Except in Old Deptford, the district is not badly provided with open 
spaces, but it would be well if the island loops spoken of above could be 
secured as public playgrounds for the inhabitants of Hatcham and Peck- 
ham New Town ; if built upon, their situation would fit them for dangerous 

Health. — Life is rough in Old Deptford and Greenwich, and infant 
mortality high, but further south the high ground makes for health. The 
soil along tne river's edge in Deptford and West Greenwich, and on either 
side of Deptford Creek, is of clay. The greater part of the low land of 
Hatcham, New Cross and Greenwich lies on gravel and sand ; there is 
some chalk on the rising ground on either side of the Kent waterworks at 
the south end of Deptford Creek, but the high ground is composed of 
pebble beds and loam, with some stiff London clay intermixed. 

Changes of Population.— The drift of the poor and fairly comfortable 
along the line of least resistance is clearly seen in the way in which 
population has followed the valleys ; the interruption of this natural drift 
is apparent off the west side of Brockley Station, where the large areas 
shut m by railway loops are not yet built upon, while the land on the 
east side, which is not so enclosed, is covered with houses. In Dbptford 
there has been some demolition of the older parts and rebuilding in the 
form of model dwellings in Armada Street by the L.C.C., and these 
buildings seem to have rehoused a good number of the displaced poor. 
The greater part of the vicious inhabitants of Mill Lcme moved to the 
dark blue and black streets north of the Broadway when their houses 
were pulled down. In Wbst Greenwich the old standing poverty 
remains much as before. In East Greenwich there have been some 
poor incomers from Poplar to the new houses badly built upon marshy 
ground in St. Andrew's parish. In Blackheath the tendency is for the 
richest to leave and to be replaced by a semi-genteel aristocracy of City 
workers. In Lewisham ana Lee the incomers are clerks and managers, 
many coming from Peckham and Brixton, and the numbeo: of middle-class 
houseowners with servants is also increasing on the high ground on either 
side of Brockley Station. 

Means of Locomotion.— The South Eastern and Chatham Railway 
runs through the district, and connects it with inner London ; the trains 
are slow and uncertain, and in Winter the traffic is often completely dis- 
organized by fog. Horse tramways run west from Evelyn Street to 



Loadon Bridge ; East and West along New Cross Road to Wootwicli aod 
Westminster, and souihwards from Greenwich Station along the Lewis- 
ham Road to Rusher t>reeii. A better service on the S. £, & C. R., and 
electric instead of horse traction along the tram routes, are wanted, as well 
as further outlets for Old Deptford. It would be well if the trams which 
now stop at the east end of Evelyn Street could be continued southwards 
vid High Street and Mill Lane into Lswisham. and eastwards into Green- 
wich nil! Creek Road and Bridge Street. The number of railway lines 
carried on arches and embankments act as barriers and make local inter- 
arily difficult. 

List of Parish Churches situaicd in the district described in 
Chapters I, and II. (Part I.), with other Places of Worsbif grouped 
according to their ecclesiastical parishes. 


All Saints, Hatcham Park. 

All Saints' Miss., Kendcr St. 
Cong. Misa., Besson St. 
Prim. Metb. Miss,. Besson Si. 
ChrUt Church, Deptford. 
Christ Church Miss., Reginald 

Cong. Ch., High Street. 
Brockley Miss. (Bapt.). Creek SI. 
Deptford Ragged Sch , Giffin St. 
Christ Church, East Qreen- 

Christ Church Miss.. So. Old 

Woolwich Rd. 
Christ Church MLss.. 72. Black- 

walt Lane. 
Victoria Hall (Wesl,), Woolwich 

Marlboro' Hall (Brethren). Old 

Woolwich Rd. 
L. C.M.ThreeCupsCoffeeTav. 
St. Joseph (R. C.),PelionRoad. 
Emmanuel Miss. Ch.. Ravens- 
bourne SI. 
Holy Trinity Miss,, Bennett SI. 
Holy Trinity Miss., Mount Nod 

Bapt. Ch.,Lewisham Road. 
Bapt. Miss., Coldbath Street, 
Salv. At. Hall, Blackheath HUl. 
Arlington Rooni, Mount Nod Sq. 
Blissett St . Miss„Renbold Place, 
St. Alfege, Oreenwich. 
St, Mary's Ch., K, William St. 
St. Alfege's Miss., Hyde Vale. 
St. Alfege'sMiss,, Cburch Pas. 
Maze Hill Cong. Ch.. Park PI, 

Wesl, Ch.. London Street. 

Brethren's Hall, King GeorgeSt. 

Brethren's Hall. Circus Street. 

L. C, Miss,, 63, Trafalgar Road, 

Our Lady Star of the Sea 
(R, C), Croom'sHill. 
St. Andrew, EastOreenwIch. 

Roihbury Hall {Cong.|, Mau- 
ritius Rd, 
Thames Ch. Miss,, Blackwall 

Salv. Ar. Bar.. Blackwall Lane. 
L. C. Miss,. Blabesley's Bldgs, 
St. Catherine, Hatcham. 

Weal. Ch.. Kino Road. 

Wesl. Miss.. 14, Foxwell Street. 

East Greenwich Bapt. Ch., 

Woolwich Road, 
L, C. Miss, Hall. Dupree Road. 
St. James, Hatcham. 
St. Michael's. Knoyle Street, 
St. George's, Foxberry Road. 
St. James's Miss,, Pagnell St. 
Ludnick Hall (Cong.), Ludwick 

Bapl, Ch., Brockley Road. 
Wesl. Ch,. New Cross Road. 
Miss. Room, 2z8a. Malpas Bd. 
St. John, Blackheath. 

St. John'sMiss,, Banchory Rd, 
St. Joha-s Miss.. Furzefield Rd. 
Presb, Ch,. Vanbrugh Park, 
SunHeld'sWesl. Ch., Old Dover 




St.'Johiit LewUham ff i^ Rd. 

St. John's Miss.. Harton Street. 
Cong. Ch., Lewisham High Rd. 
Zion Bapt. Ch.. New Cross Rd. 
Florence Hall (Bapt.). Floroice 

Bninswick U. Meth. Free Ch.. 

St. John's Rd. 
Ftople's Hall (Piesb.), Deptford 

Go^ Miss.. Wilson St. 

SL Lake* Deptford. 

St. Lake's Parish Room. Cos- 

terwood St. 
Dqptford Park Wesl. Ch.. Lower 

Victoria Ch. (Meth. New Con.). 

Giove St. 
L. C. Miss., zjo, Eveljn Street. 

St. MjuIc* Deptford. 

Cong. Miss. Ch., Napier Street. 
Amenham Hall (Cong.). Amer- 

sham Vale. 
Rail waqr Mis. , Amersham Grore. 

St. Nicbolatf, Deptford. 

St. Nicholas* Miss.. Albany 

Institute. Creek Rd. 
Trinity Hall (Cong.). Pender St. 
Cong. Miss., Armaoa Street. 
Prim. Meth. Ch.. Creek Road. 
Mi»oo HaU. Hughes Fields. 

St. Purit Deptford. 

St. Barnabas' Ch. lor Deaf and 
Domb. £velyn Street. 

Bapt. Ch.. Octavins Street. 
Wesl. Miss.. High Street. 
New Jerusalem Ch..Warwick St. 
Unitarian Bapt. Ch., Church St. 
Friends' Meeting House, 144, 

High Street. 
Gospel Hall (Breth.), Edward 

Salv. Army Citadel, Mary Ann 

Shaftesbury Hall (L.C.M.). 

Charles Street. 
L. C. Miss. Hall, Staunton St. 
L. C. Miss. Hall. ia. Hamiltoo 

Alliance Temperance Hall, 

Albany St. 
Church of the Assompiioo 

(R. C), High Street. 

St. Paalt West Qreeowicli. 

St. Paul's Miss.. 49. Roan St. 
Cong. Ch.. Greenwich Rood. 
Bapt. Ch.. Devonshire Road. 
Bapt. Ch.. South Street. 
St. Mark's Presb. Ch.. South S^ 
L. C. Miss., Randall Place. 

SL Peter 9 Brocldey. 

St. Peter's Hall. Cranfield Rd. 
WesL Ch., Harefield Road. 
Presb. Ch.. Brockley Road. 

St. Peter* West Qreeowich. 

St. Peter's Miss.. Bridge Street. 
West Greenwich Raggei School, 
Bridge Street. 



5 1 


I Woolwich is connected with Greenwich bj' Charlton, 

New and Old. The actual link consists of a roadway, 

a railway, and a sewer, carried through the low-lying 

marshy meadows beside the Thames. The road is 

a raised causeway, and for some distance towards 

Woolwich very little of the land between road and 

river is fit for dwellings. On much of it such building 

is now forbidden. It is used for allotments and 

I market gardens, and provides a pitching ground for the 

I vans and tents of gipsies. Rubbish and refuse from 

I other parts of London coming in barges is tipped on 

to the land, to prepare it for building ; and perhaps in 

I time it may become as solid as Belgravia. Such streets 

or stray houses as have by some means found for 

themselves a place in this area are the wretched homes 

of a very poor class. In some of them the ground floors, 

being untenable because of the damp, have been filled 

up with earth, but all are insanitary and unsatisfactory, 

ought never to have been built, and would be better 

destroyed. To the south of the road and railway, tlie 

ground is firm and rising, and on it, amid the hollows 

V 6 


va ^^H 


and hillocks of discarded sand-pits, stands the pic- 
turesque old village of Charlton with its red-roofed 
cottages and old Jacobean Manor house. Between 
village and railway near the station is a group of new 
streets occupied by well-to-do artisans, many of whom 
buy the houses they live in, and by clerks of similar 
or perhaps rather higher social standing, who trust, not 
without trepidation, to the South Eastern and Chatham 
Railway to take them daily to their work in the City. 
Further south again lie the breezy fields of Kidbrooke, 
as yet almost untouched by the builder ; and here in 
this south-easterly direction, London ends on the 
higher level at Eltham Common. 

Eastward of this open southern portion of Charlton, 
between it and Woolwich Town, lies Woolwich 
Common, unoccupied except by the barracks. Near 
the dockyard on the river verge there is a large 

The riverside parishes in Charlton are Holy Trinity 
and St. Thomas, the one High, the other Low Church. 
They are worked with some energy and both have 
assistance from sympathetic Blackheath congregations. 
The parish of St. Thomas extends to the higher ground 
south of the railway, as far as Little Heath, and thus 
contains an admixture of rich and poor suitable for 
ordinary parish work ; but Holy Trinity lies entirely 
on the lower level, both socially and physically, and 
such of the population as are in comfortable circum- 
stances are unsympathetic non-churchgoing artisans. 
Attendances, whether at Trinity Church itself or at the 
mission room, are scanty, and altogether the work is 
very discouraging. Solace has to be sought in caring 
for the individual and letting the mass go by, but it 
may be that the individual proves hardly less elusive 
than the crowd. In the pursuit of the individual the 
parish is visited from house to house, and this 



































1 .- .--.f -.J ■■■ 


^r^ ' 









































1 1 1 1 1 1 M !. 

















church has a bad name for making relief dependent 
on religious response. Ritualistic proceedings at the 
outset aroused a strong Protestant feeling, but this has 
died away and indifference prevails. 

The spirit of the Arsenal and of factory work 
generally, is felt to be adverse to religion. Units 
cannot be isolated from their surroundings ; neighbours 
are also fellow workmen. A man has to fight against 
his whole environment in attaching himself to a church. 

It may be remembered that in Outer East London, 
under somewhat similar conditions the same explana- 
tion of failure was put forward : that a man cannot 
escape from his surroundings ; that common opinion 
is too strong to be resisted successfidly by the indi- 
vidual. On the other hand, in Camberwell it was the 
very absence of any common sentiment or industrial 
bond that was deplored, stress being laid on the 
difficulties of parish work where the inhabitants were 
simply a collection of detached units. 

The Sunday schools at Holy Trinity, to which five 
or six hundred children come, are the most satisfactory 
feature. The institute, men's club, and library, and 
even the lads' clubs, are rather unsuccessful. Boys 
break away when they go to work, and even old choir 
boys, whom the parson has known for years, cut him in 
the street. No wonder if at times despondency is felt. 

The parish is a comparatively new one carved out 
of St. Paul's, Old Charlton, in 1886. The greater 
part of its area is not and cannot be built upon, but 
seven thousand people are in some way housed on the 
available fringe. There is a degraded and brutalized 
population crowded into a group of streets which run 
down to the river on the eastern boundary of the 
parish. Near them stands the church and at the 
western end, where live the respectable, but religiously 
indifferent working class, is placed the mission building, 
thus reversing the usual order of things. 


High Church methods fail here, but it cannot be 
assumed that Low Church or Nonconformity would be 
any more successful. There are no Nonconformist 
chapels or missions within the parish, only a Salvation 
Army barrack in one of its worst streets. 

The parish of St. Thomas was also formerly (but 
long ago) part of St. Paul's, and retains the name of 
Old Charlton, For its mixed population of eleven 
thousand the Church seeks to provide, and, I think, 
succeeds in providing, the kind of service, Evangelical 
in doctrine, with sermons for the old and bright music 
for the young, which is to the taste of the church- 
going section. The result is that from four hundred 
to five hundred are attracted, besides an equal number 
of children to the Sunday schools. The social agencies 
are unimportant, and the mass of the people remains 

In the better parts of this parish we become conscious 
of the broad wave of prosperity that springs from 
employment at the Arsenal. It is shown by a great 
demand for small houses with a not too large, easily 
managed, garden, and whole streets of such as these 
have been built where land was available. The houses, 
which are planned to accommodate two families or one 
family with lodgers, were taken before the foundations 
were laid, and occupied before the walls were dry. 
Here, however, there is now no more vacant ground. 

In this parish, as in Holy Trinity, near the railway 
and river are found streets 'where no respectable 

fierson can stay,' inhabited by a degraded population : 
oafers and prostitutes who, it is said, have been driven 
out of Woolwich by the pulling down of part of the 
bad area there. And there are other streets in both 
parishes inhabited by a low class of casual workers who 
are at present earning high wages, but who spend their 
money largely on drink. They need no gifts. If 
there is poverty among them it is not from lack of 


moDe^, and tfaejr will 

It is such as these 
trouble which may 

At present all who care to work 

irrespectnre of character or ^rra^.'irss cf fin jlT 

almost even of capocxtjr. Xhs 

and if suddenly depr7¥cd of vork, 

skilled and iD-educated, prooe to faeziy dr. 

manjr of them youi^ and stroo^ thcr w«ld be 

to deal ¥rith and might hecome a daogcr to order 

a time of hunger and distress. 

In St. Thomas's parish die isflaeace of tbe barr: 
makes itself felt as weQ as that of the ArxssL The 
presence of the scddiers, indeed^ is saad to iSsz mezj- 
thing. But the parts which both ther aai tic Anead 
play win be better described whca wc caesc to 
Woolwich itself. 

Both Baptists and Weslejaos bsnre riaprh bere;, aad 
the Brethren have one of tfaeEr Etde infrr''tg bosoei^ 
but of none of these have I dftailrri parrxslanw That 
bodies are, all three, fully rcprcsecsed in Wasivxk or 
its neighbourhood, die B ap t ists especaDy be£sg a great 
force there. 

The parishes of St. Paul and Sc Lskt a xi v^ c At 
district now under conssdcratSoeii. The two chcsxht% 
lie close together, St^ PauTs being 3i yfacrd, » rc^rds 
the bulk of the (new) population whkh is iooad on 
the lower ground near die sssdoo. The chofdi tf^ 
however, <set upon a hill, and cannot be hid,' md 
perhaps if fdaccd amoi^ its people would not be any 
less neglected. It gsohers a ^ natural congregation ' of 
middle-dass church-goers; and ux hundred wKfrkina- 
dass diildren come to the Sunday %chocL Of the 
lower middle and upper waking <ha§c% some attend 


Nonconformist chapels, but more go nowhere. In this , 
parish there is one rather poor and crowded street close 
by the railway, where, it is said, there is 'inward if not 
outward squalor;' but inwardly and outwardly alike, 
it is very different from the low streets by the river. 

In St. Luke's there are no poor, nor even any working- 
class people. It is a parish of negatives. No Sunday 
school — no visitors (for 'whom could they visit?') — 
no magazine ('nothing to say in it') — no report — none 
of the ordinary things ; except the Sunday services, 
and two on week-days, taken by the rector. There is 
not even a curate, except one who conies to help in the 
services on Sunday. The congregation consists largely 
of army people who are well-to-do, but not wealthy, 
and these, with their servants and a few tradespeople, 
form almost the whole population. 

Westward, just beyond the Rectory field and famous 
football ground, where four parishes meet (St. Luke's, 
St. Paul's, St. James's, and St. John's) there is a group of 
streets known as Sunfields. They actually belong to 
Greenwich, but have not yet been described. The 
inhabitants of this little spot, who are decent but rather 
poor working class, are left, so far as the Church of 
England is concerned, to the care of St. John's, but are 
fought for also by the various religious bodies with 
more than common vivacity and, it is said, bribery. 
The minister of the local Baptist chapel says, 'We all. 
Baptists, Wesleyans, Presbyterians and Church tread 
on each other's heels.' All visit systematically, all 
distribute tracts wholesale, and all are ready to relieve 
distress. The Baptists themselves employ no fewer 
than twenty-two visitors ; the Wesleyans are described 
as having an inexhaustible purse and, it is added, 
a proportionately large Sunday school. Their work and 
this competition was referred to at the end of last chapter. 

The parish of St. James, Kidbrooke, which lies 
beyond St. Luke's to the south of the Old Dover 


Road, is remarkable in that five-sixths of the parish 
might be, and is not, built over. On its east side 
there is open country for a mile and a half reaching to 
Eltham, of which half belongs to Kidbrooke and half 
to Eltham parish. The population of Kidbrooke is 
two thousand four hundred, or including Morden 
College (pensioners) and the Herbert and Brooke and 
Cottage Hospitals, about three thousand five hundred. 
The people live at the western side and are business 
men and officers, both military and naval, working at 
Greenwich or Woolwich or retired. The poor, of 
whom two hundred are counted, are gardeners and 
farm labourers. Church-going is usual ; the service, 
which is simple and musical, avoiding all extremes, 
is well attended. The position of the church is strong. 
It is one that is able to help others. 

St. Michael's parish, the last on my list in this 
direction, consists of a small district cut out of St. 
James's. The class of people is the same and so are 
the services of the church, * simple, hearty and congre- 
gational.' It, too, is a well-to-do congregation and 
has collections in aid of six of the poorer churches 
of Deptford, Greenwich and Woolwich ; and, in addition 
to money, sends out fifty or sixty workers, of whom 
we have already heard at the Mission Church 
(Emmanuel) connected with Holy Trinity, Black- 
heath Hill. 

Both these churches co-operate with the Noncon- 
formists on special occasions. 

The Baptist Church, already mentioned as attracting 
adherents from Greenwich, and as working in Sunfields, 
stands in St. James's parish at the point where houses 
end at the junction of Shooter's Hill Road with the Old 
Dover Road, and draws its congregation of middle and 
lower middle-class people from the streets to the west. 

In St. Michael's parish the Open Order of the 
Brethren has a church with a well-to-do and active 


congregation, and there is a smaller (though richer) 
body of the Exclusives. 

The Roman Catholics also have a centre which is 
mainly a boarding school for middle-class boys coming 
from all parts of the country. 



Woolwich has three quite distinct aspects : (i) that 
of the barracks and the military, (2) the Arsenal and its 
artisans, and (3) the * Dust-hole' and its depravity. 
I will take the last first, although, comparatively speak- 
ing, it is of little importance. The area bearing this 
ill-sounding name is quite small, lying tucked into the 
corner made by the Arsenal wall and the river, bounded 
by Beresford Street, High Street, and the Free Ferry. 
It was at one time larger and might well be smaller. 
Its furnished rooms and registered lodging-houses are 
a resting-place for the stream of tramps passing in or 
out of London, and at the same time the home of 
an extremely low class of prostitutes : two purposes 
with either of which Woolwich would gladly dispense. 
As a resting-place for tramps it compares, only on 
a very reduced scale, with the Notting Dale district in 
the North- West, forming as it does to the South-East 
a corresponding entrance to or exit from London ; 
but the lodging-houses and the women who harbour 
here, make the area more like Dorset Street in White- 
chapeL* The whole of this bad corner might easily be 
done away with, and if this were accomplished, as has 
largely happened in the similar case of Mill Lane, 

* The latest accounts received state that a considerable improvement has 
been made in this area. 


IS it wdl rilrait socr x '-["^j't^ ^trninr 
For the nrfFrH'vi t^ ^ r^isE- ixcib is ■ mum: 
bounds, ind 2 ^aci - MTirrf s: -ngnr ; nr ^n* 
CQsrscness Gt ds iris dccar 

chancrers ^frjiifug nora aaidisrs sol 
unaUe to rcssc 

In diis dzrfc spot irdnzscK nr? 3 311 
attempts £bL As cc j gigJa :ais n L iiiaii Cji'mHr 
^ the priest is poveicss 
might peg zwzr at cc ir cwmii* j^scs ^trjum 
is the opinion ri[Trrvrti bf 2 W< 
Baptists, whose great 
joung men and joasng 
there, hcl&ng 
winter time, ^'-"^ 


and espedallT seeks a> ^tmaar an- cr '3e -wanex 

being new to tbe Efe, sar be ^^.'i^r-.iqH' ^**^ w lji. wmbf t 
chance of success. Li 
that the older 
motives of 
say. V 

enters here. In 
on the femak side pim 2 
beauty none at alL 
The houses in these 

windows and grimy i2xicared4br lock, cr 
sing smeD of dirt so comoacly tead i:: s-trtss oc 
lowest type; it is 00 the fires ot tb^ y^^^ ^^^^ 
degradation is so unmistakabiy starrpecL No co^ ca:i 
pass through without besng impre»ed br it, ar*- aio 
by the absence of children. The cSsct is jbtrar-^^ly 
horrible. Thus, though really in itself <A iit:^ aa- 


portance, being only an accidental gathering together, 
and not on a very large scale, of elements which exist 
in any larg^e city, yet this spot comes before us with 
considerable force as an illustration of one of the dark 
sides of London life. 

We pass now to the second and principal aspect : 
that of Woolwich as a garrison town. The place is 
dominated by the barracks and the military. At the 
Garrison Church of St. George, the worship of God 
goes forward by bugle call and tuck of drum. The 
Simday morning church parade, held partly in the 
interests of recruiting, is the event of the week. The 
band plays and the crowds that look on block the road. 
Other Churches complain that the attractions of this 
show keep people away from their services, but it is 
more than doubtfid whether those who turn out to see 
the marshalling of the troops would in any case have 
attended a religious service. The church itself, when 
filled with the men, is a striking scene. Outside, 
the bright brass instruments of the band lie in the 
portico or on the grass, and a sentinel stands at the 

This church is opposite the Artillery Barracks, at 
the corner of the Common ; a little lower down in the 
New Road is a Presbyterian Church, where five hundred 
seats are reserved for the soldiers ; just below that 
again is St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, which 
gathers in the soldier members of that faith, and the 
Wesleyans in William Street set aside one hundred 
and fifty sittings for the same purpose. Soldiers are 
allowed to choose, but every man must have some 
religion. The principal religious bodies have each 
their official chaplain to the forces here. There are 
also three Soldiers' Institutes, which are clubs on 
a more or less religious basis, one belonging to the 
Church of England^ another nominally undenomina- 



tional, but really belonging to the Wesleyans, and 
a third, unattached, managed by some ladies. 

Soldiers are by no means wanting in religious feeling, 
the dangers of war often making men very conscious ot 
the mercies of God. The records of the Wesleyan 
Home are filled with the stories of those in the ranks 
who have themselves found salvation and forthwith 
sought to spread the Gospel among their comrades, in 
camp or barrack-room. 'God in His mercy has spared,' 
is said of all who are not hit in a batde ; and of the 
wounded, if they recover, they, too, are ' spared '; or if 
they die, * His wonderful goodness and power ' may be 
shown in the * awakening of souls to the precious gift 
of salvation ;' or, finally, one thus quickened by the 
imminent facts of life and death, sees in everything the 
'finger of God' and bows to His inscrutable decrees. 
It would be shallow indeed to undervalue such spiritual 
experiences because of the simple terms in which they 
find expression, or what may be felt to be the childish- 
ness of the reasoning. It is enough that the soul is 
awakened, and in its blindness, groping for God, finds 
a religion. 

The proportion thus affected, those whose souls are, 
or ever can be, thus attuned to the ' salvation that is in 
Jesus Christ ' may not be great, but It is probably as 
great as amongst civilians. Many of the circumstances 
of a soldier's life favour it, and, indeed, favour all the 
ordinary developments of religious faith. This applies 
to the officers fully as much as to the men, and leads 
many of them, when retired from active service in the 
Army into home mission work. * Wherever you have 
a lot of army men you will have religious cranks,' is 
a dictum offensively put, but borne out in fact by the 
number of small missions to be found in the neigh- 
bourhood of Woolwich. Some of these will be referred 
to later. 

The presence of the soldiers affects every form of 


social life in Woolwich. If in some v/3.ys they give it 
a religious tone, in other, and more evident, ways they 
contribute to gaiety, and also, it must be said, to vice. 
The streets are brightened by their uniforms, when in 
accordance with established custom they parade up and 
down (in very orderly fashion) with their female com- 
panions. And they are treated by their friends, male 
or female, at the public-house or theatre — another 
established custom, which thus ekes out a nation's 
economies. Underlying these innocent pastimes lie 
the evils of absolutely irrepressible prostitution, whidrl 
bears a very markedly professional character ; and af 
certain amount of soldier-crime, mostly due to drink,' 
as to which one of their chaplains kindly says : ' If' 
civilians were arrested for offences that place a soldier' 
in the lock-up, I should have half my congregation in 
prison on Sunday morning.' 

Such is Woolwich as a garrison town. 

Anaccountof the Arsenal cannot be so circumscribed. 
Woolwich as a great national workshop spreads its 
influence wherever its employees reside, and in this 
sense the Arsenal influence is, perhaps, greatest in 
Plumstead. But Woolwich Town is the centre of 
much else besides the work done, and it will be con- 
venient to deal with these matters before taking up 
our review of the whole surrounding district, parish 
by parish. 

The position of affairs has been very exceptional. The 
Arsenal was already busy before the war in South Africa 
began ; great changes had occurred in the character of 
war material, and efforts were being made to bring the 
equipment of our army abreast of the times ; but since 
the war commenced these efi^orts have had to be redoubled 
and the capacity of the Arsenal pushed to the uttermost. 
Not only has there been work for all here (and in all 
private manufactories of arms and ammunition also), but 


ie ^^ 



overtime has been in effect compulsory. The work has 
been very exhausting, the earnings both high and r^iilar. 
So-called unskiUed men, of the highest grade of ordin- 
ary labour, men who are no doubt in a measure skilled, 
but who technically have no ^ trade,* have been making 
on {nece-work up to as much as 8|^ an hour ; while 
young men and even boys, rapidly acquiring ^unlity in 
some particular process, soon earn men's wages. It is 
not to be supposed that this state of things can last. 
Even a slight contraction in the volume of work, or 
a slight increase in the total facilities of production, will 
re-establish competition between private and national 
sources of supply, and bring back normal conditions ; 
while any great contraction in army work, or in general 
trade, might very probably produce abnormal conditions 
in an opposite direction. But for the time all has been 
prosperi^. It has already continued a fairly long time, 
and no considerable change is at present apprehended. 
It is therefore very interesting to see what use is being 
made of this present and prospective prosperity. 

I have spoken only of the Arsetud in this matter 
because its importance is so transcending, but the 
Dockyard has been active also ; and other works, such 
as those of Siemens Brothers, have swelled the total of 
industrial employment in the neighbourhood. 

Rapid extension of work has attracted an abnormal 
proportion of young men, both married and single, and 
by this the whole population has been affected ; men, 
wives, and children, dl are young. Young unmarried 
men, having secured employment, seek wives and often 
bring them from a distance. Thus what we see is the 
creation of homes on a remarkable scale. This is the 
great economic &ctor of the situation. It is responded 
to by the building of houses, and a great development 
of retail trade. 

The pressure upon house accommodation has been 
very great ; * a hundred applicants for every house,* 




says one infbrmantj and thus, although the movement 
has been very irregular, rents have risen extraordinarily, 
in some cases even as much as fifty per cent. In 
Woolwich itself there were few available sites, but in 
the district round house building has been active both 
through building societies, which are here exceptionally 
strong, and by private and co-operative enterprise. 
Good earnings and confidence in their continuance, 
encourage men to buy their houses. The bargain, as 
has been already mentioned, is often made even before 
the house is built. The buyer undertakes to pay so 
much down, and in addition a rental calculated to 
complete the purchase in so many years. 

No doubt good profits have been made by specu- 
lative builders, and larger and larger schemes are 
projected. Amongst the most enterprising of these 
must now be counted the Woolwich Co-operative 
Society, which has prospered greatly, and is able 
continually to extend its operations. How large the 
capital sums are that are devoted to building new 
homes for the people, to be jusdfied by if not actually 
repaid out of their earnings, will hardly be believed, 

One private builder whose policy it has been to 
build and sell outright, and who has built extensively 
at Hither Green on that plan, is now laying down five 
thousand houses between PI urn stead and Eltham. 
The houses he builds sell for between /300 and ^^400. 
The calculation is a simple one : five thousand houses 
at C3°o would come to a miUion and a half ; or at 
^^400, to two millions ; and this is only one speculation 
cut of several, all based on the same expectation. The 
Woolwich Co-operative Society has paid more than 
^50,000 for a piece of land, and on it proposes to 
build, under the management of its own works depart- 
ment, four thousand houses at the rate perhaps of two 
hundred a year, providing thus for a prospective popu- 
lation of from twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand 



r r 


souls at a capital outlay of a millioii and a quarter ; all 
to be provided, in one form or anodier, out of working- 
class savings. 

This Co-operative Society is so remarkable in itsd^ 
and plays so great a part in the lives of the people, 
that it merits ruU descr i pt i on. There is nothing at all 
like it elsewhere within the boundaries of London. 
Only at StratfcHxi is there a parallel instance, where the 
Society draws the nucleus or its cReniilc irotn the men 
employed in the Great Eastern Railway works \ 2%\t 
does here, on a much larger scale, from those of the 
Arsenal. The business at Woolwich has experienced 
a steady growth largely due to the shrewdness, 
trustworthiness and enterprise of one man«* The 
Society began with forty-seven members and a capital 
of j^27, and during the first year did a trade of less than 
^500. At the end of 1900 it had more than 17,000 
members, and nearly {p,^^fxx> of capital, and its sales 
during the year amounted to CZS^'P^^^ '^ addition 
to the central stores in Powis Street (now bdng entirely 
rebuilt) there are half a dozen branch stores, and one at 
least of these, that in \ ^krdalr Road, Plumstead, is 
itself a large emporium of household supply* Half 
the population deal at these stores, and on the average 
each family dealt with spends fully ten shillings a week. 
The profit returnable to the members comes to neaHy 
two shillings in the pound. Much of this is accumulated 
at interest, and deposits are also received from 
members ; with the result diat there is ample capital to 
keep pace with the expansion of the population as well 
as ror new undertakings, such as the building scheme 
referred to. The management is bold in establishing 
branches almost in advance of the population, so that 
those who settle into new quarters nnd the store ready 
for them. 

* Mr. Alexander McLeod. wbo became manafer al thettart io XS69, and 
conthniwl in that pontiaa volil bis death ta M^, 1902. 

V 7 


The Society has had to face the competition of large 
low-priced cash salesmen, whose well set-out windows 
brighten the mdn streets, such as Lipton's and the 
Home and Colonial Stores for provisions ; Gardiner's for 
dothing, and other shops for household requisites and 
furniture. These all rely on low prices. In addition, 
there is the competition of little local shops, selling 
worse articles at a fiill retail price, and giving credit 
instead of dividend to those who deal with them. 
Both forms of competition are dangerous. Feckless 
folk like to buy in small quantities at the nearest shop 
on such terms of credit as they can command, and are 
not those who scrutinize very closely either quality or 

Erice ; while those who buy carefidly may perhaps be 
etter suited by the large shops which specialize ; and 
may be more attracted by the immediate low price than 
by the prospect of a dividend. It is well for the 
Society that pride of membership plays a part in 
strengthening the bond ; well, too, ir its spirited 
management not only fosters this feeling, but has made 
the economic footing the more secure. The Society 
appears to cater for every want, and aims at making 
its stores showy and attractive on the same lines as 
those of the Army and Navy and Civil Service. It 
seems also to have done much to interest the women, 
who form nearly two-thirds of the members — a quite 
unusual proportion. 

The success and progress of this great Society is one 
of the best proofs of prosperity and well-being among 
the working classes. It tells of the money which 
reaches the homes and is spent on the family: on 
food, on clothing, and on furniture, to say nothing of 
bicycles and pianos. Almost every house in Plum- 
stead seems to have a piano and every young man can 
aflbrd a bicycle. No doubt there is a wide margin 
between the average total femily income and the ten or 
eleven shillings a week spent at the stores by each 


nnuT (wTMJf^ tucre^ 3bc one s i3zs sa 
to ocme, mi dhcre sr n a.i^ i rii as 

' « ' 

days arronnt Sat st '»»f jwuig *■■■■"■■ 

they may be, do zut 7 
die aggregate %pi/tt 

the support of prostkabOB; 
Arsenal have mooey ia thea 
have not. Some sinne of 
from hoosefaolds wkkk da 
them, and with nuBf ocbec 
home life will be by' 6r tke 


However it nu^ I^^n^c 

longer mider f gli^: ivta. tie Cturrru mr 

is the field for 

of their snccr» is 


The old parish dhardb taf Sc Marr M^iauMt. 
claims a past readmig badk to far^ ssvt tm^ >!t 
position, fronting the rrwr, 5f acaciiti^^ irut, ^mr r 
must, one should th^ak, km^t xca: ^srivlrir km.v^!^.^ Vy 
Danish attxk in tboit dgi*. T«: pr*:«:ir vwirSrt^ it 
not old, and bdks anirtrrTiinii warx^ h n^ a^ %^^^ 
V 7 • 


a very ugly square-towered structure of dusky yellow 
brick, but commodious within. 

The rector is a remarkable and somewhat repre- 
sentative man : representative of the most modern ideas 
on London parish organization. His work is, as must 
always be the case, an admixture of failure and success ; 
and if the former is greater and the latter less than 
one might expect, I think it is because he (and the 
ideas he represents) attempts in vain to reconcile High 
Church principles with popular aims. This incompati- 
bility could not be better shown than in an address to 
the residents of his parish, written some years ago, but 
as fresh to-day as when it was written because in it he 
was in truth speaking not to his flock — for they could 
hardly have understood a word of it, or if understand- 
ing, would have had no sympathy — but to his own 
heart, or it might be to the hearts of some of his 
brother clergy. 

The address is not exactly * above the heads * of his 
parishioners ; neither is it * under their feet,' like the 
pearls of the proverb. Such phrases fail altogether 
to represent the position when, with regard to all the 
deeper issues of life, there is no common ground of 
sympathy. What, for instance, would the mass of his 
congregation be likely to make of such sentences as 
these, profoundly true though they may be, in which 
the rector is describing an Ideal Church : It should be, 
he says, **no archaic relic of a dead past, but the 
great school of Christian character on which all true 
progress must depend to-day and always." And he 
goes on, "My root idea of the Church is that it 
IS meant by Christ to be at once both democratic 
and sacramental. The Sacraments, indeed, remain the 

most democratic institutions even of this day 

What is it that creates such a dread of High 

Church ? It is not its mysteriousness, its 

love of beauty and order, its reverence ; for these 


things in themselves must be approved by all true 
natures ; but it is, I conceive, the fear that behind 

all this lies the imperial sacerdotal spirit In 

their historic memory there looms the tyrant claim, 
both spiritual and secular, to stand between the 
individual soul and God, to hold the keys of heaven and 

hell But is this the true view of the ideal 

Githolic Church ? No ! The priest is so 

called because he is the elder among a society of priests, 
he exercises his functions, and he alone in the society 
has the right to exercise those functions, because they 
are delegated to him for the sake of order by the 
society of priests and kings that we call the Church. 
Every member of the Church, in the Christian sense, 
is a priest and a king (Rev. v. lo ; i St. Peter ii. 9). 

But now having tried to remove that 

stumbling block of a peculiar claim which is sometimes 
made for the priesthood, it is all the more important 
that I assert the claims of the Church as the Bride 
of Christ, the trustee of the feith, the dispenser of the 
Sacraments which Christ gave her as effectual and 
special means of grace. And further it seems to me 
that in the historic continuity of her three-fold order, 
she has claims to be called The Church hard to gainsay. 
These three notes of the Church — her crera, her 
Sacraments, her order — are the notes by which she 
preserves her oneness with the Church of the Apostles. 

There is no bigotry in saying that those who 

cannot see their way to accept these claims, but who 
make for themselves a new body, do not belong to the 

Church we do not condemn them or visit 

with penalties We gladly work with others 

on the ground of our common humanity in all those 

points wherein we are agreed We will not 

play with the word Church. I do not deny that the 
Church is competent to alter, but her rationak — ^her 
creed, her offices, her sacraments of initiation and 


fellowship, these for eighteen hundred years she never- 
has altered. They are fixed, primary, divine, and 
will remain as unchangeable in the Kingdom of Grace 
as the primary laws or nature." 

These ideas plainly reflect a genuine struggle of the 
soul seeking for law and order in a disordered world ; 
groping (like the soldiers) after God, and finding 
a religion. From such struggles men arise ready to 
give their lives to the service of man. 1 make no 
apology for this long extract, and may have to trouble 
the reader with others in an effort to answer the 
question ' Why do we fail ?' which I have found asked 
by the clergy themselves more often in Woolwich 
than elsewhere. But (using again the words of the 
rector), " I turn from these few remarks, as general 
principles, to note for a few moments the signs of the 
times, and then to review the many organizations that 
gather round St. Mary's." 

The 'signs of the times' referred to were some 
labour troubles, and these are treated in a spirit with 
which those appealed to, if it be a circle of working 
men, would indeed sympathize, if they ever read the 
address ; but the evident pouring out of a troubled 
spirit that precedes would, I think, even if read, hardly 
have for them any meaning at all. In matters other than 
religious the rector of St. Mary's, we are told, ' carries 
the thoughtful section of the working classes with him,' 

Of the parish population (1891) of about fourteen 
thousand (the numbers were less in 1901) the 
soldiers account for four thousand, and arc under 
the care of their five chaplains. Of the ten thousand 
civilians, it is estimated that five thousand are of the 
labouring, four thousand of the artisan, and one 
thousand of the shop-keeping class, with clerks, &c. 
There is no resident middle-class population, but of 
these the congregation includes some that come from 
outside. The church holds eight hundred. The 


numbers attending are not great, and women largely 
preponderate ; but there is a considerable proportion 
of decent working class, including a number of young 
men and young women. In this respect the church is 
more successful than most, but it cannot be said that 
the working man comes to any great extent. Nor 
does the service held in the mission hall differ in its 
results from those of such places generally. There 
are the usual social organizations and Sunday schools, 
well organized, with a full staff of teachers, and there 
are also day schools. Besides the school teachers there 
are thirty voluntary district visitors drawn from the 
working class, a paid mission woman, three curates and 
the rector — in all a considerable force at work. The 
visitors act as collectors of savings. There is a strong 
body of communicants, many of whom are men — ^^an 
individual response' to honest individual work, and 
to * sweet temper, solid worth and a self<ienying life.* 
It is, so far as it goes, a church of the people. But 
it does not go very far. 

At one of the shops of the Arsenal, among a hundred 
men, a churchman, who worked there, estimated that 
there were fifty who never went to church at all, thirty 
who attended two or three times a year (that is, on 
occasions like harvest festival) ; and of the twenty 
remaining, that twelve were chapel-goers and eight 
church. These figures seem not improbable, although 
twenty per cent, of religious adherents among working 
men is unusually high, and, if anything, me figures 
may perhaps exaggerate the number of church as 
compared to chapel-goers. 

Holy Trinity, which is adjacent to St. Mary's, is 
the parish which includes the * Dust-hole,' and must, 
I suppose, be accounted one of the failures, for 
although a centre of even unusually devoted work, 
of precisely Church activity there is little. But as 


there are those that apparently succeed and yet fail, so 
are there those that apparently fail and yet succeed ; 
and to the latter class the vicar here, I think, belongs. 
He himself claims Time as the great ally for those 
" who have no natural effectiveness," and hopes there 
is "a cumulative force in going on doing the same 
things with what faithfulness one can over a good 
stretch of years." He is addressing his congregation, 
and it is an address which, like the one from which 
I have quoted at such length, lays open the heart of 
the writer. It, too, is an apology as well as an appeal. 
The other might, perhaps, be read, but would not be 
appreciated ; this one might be appreciated, but most 
probably would not be read beyond the limits of a 
very small circle. The work, he tells his congregation, 
is theirs as much as his, ^'as instruments in God's 
hands, intrusted for a short space with the care of one 
little corner of His Church " — and by that thought to 
be purged alike of conceit and " that inverted^ conceit 
which consists in moping over failures and weak- 
nesses." He refers very simply to the cold and 
draughty church which made it " positively dangerous " 
to sit through a service in Winter, and or his hopes of 
effecting a cure of this, and then goes on to speak of 
that "House not made with hands to be built by 
Grod's Holy Spirit," and of the insufficient roll of 
their communicants, and of the lapse of so many 
of those he has prepared for confirmation ; and 
takes himself to task for this failure. What, then, 
practically could be done ? He asks them for advice, 
and goes on to point out the value and necessity 
of the Sacrament to the structure and discipline of 
a Church, and the rule of life that should result. 
Turning then to his own duties he expresses the 
need of the clergy for the pressure of opinion 
"expecting them to do their duty * (to come themselves 
to church to see that it is done is slyly implied), 



hamoar ; sal, r: uxf x mxssL^ s jc^arrr tt i nns: 

democnbc v'*' >- It vcmii 3iic x MfTT' n>e r x 

were TCMl ; xn mrr ^ 

and thovsga t: 

not those of pocu 

Ihe portXD ot rae ..iuj-jl ttsus 
and the bodr of rr £s tne 'sic '■err wsnt 
between two streccs. Ta 3: cncs aL 

Woolwidi llnrkfrfj bo: sov wt:z oificiiCT ir 
way. In spcte of a wen asz atgai 
ambitious^ ud an i::r.'. .t bx 
advantage of the sitiui jo tt of 

main entrance of the Anezk, yr ji^^'iSng :rgMi 

recitals in the dinner hocr zjr - js^ Lesc T: 

been very successfu], ''the 

the working man is good 

eluded with a hjmn, is, ws2 

by a collect (but no 

In Beresfoni Street, 
poor, chilly church, ^^ ^ " " ^ 
a great tabemade of the 

repair, making a tctt scrkEzse ^""i" **■' ^^^ rzcu 
or in what sense, docs the > ^rvn, of FjTg'gtTi-^ 
The question will in part be laawc e d r w^ sn 
how and ^y the Bapcsts ^^^r^rr 

On one c^ the feaadatxxi stooes <^ ti 
(in these cases the mcmunt a doc ^^"Tfrrr: ^ cce 
stone), we read, "This stone w» had by dae Rcr, 
J. A. Spurgeon in memory of h£s brocner Giarjen 
Haddon Spurgeon *a serraxt of Jescss Chrjt* — 
20 June 1 895.** But, except in theb* finanrral boldrx!i!(, 
in the buoyant fiuth shown in die cocstructfon of such 
a building, and in the common name of ' tabernacle,* 
although both are Baptist, there is Ctde resemblance 


between this congregation and that which m^ntains 
the Spurgeon tradition at Newington. 

Mr. Wilson, the pastor here, works upon altogether 
different lines. This is due to the character of the 
man as well as that of the human material from which 
he draws his congregation ; but reveals a power of 
adaptation which we have seen specially exemplified 
under the present Charles Spurgeon at Greenwich, 
where the class of the people has changed greatly 
during the term of his pastorate. In Woolwich there 
has, indeed, been no change of this kind. Artisans 
consistently represent the solid middle-class of its 
society, and it is mainly from amongst the artisans 
that Mr. Wilson's congregation is drawn. They are 
such as save and buy their own houses at Plumstead, 
and live comfortably ; a selection, and not the ruck ; 
men with a trade, not labourers ; men who * earn good 
wag;es and spend them on their homes and wives and 

Mr. Wilson himself attributes his success with this 
class to their knowledge that he is in sympathy with 
them. They form his diaconate and rule the Church. 
The impulse comes from him, but all else from them. 
They find the money and they do the work. They 
provide some two hundred young people ready to give 
their spare time to the Church work. Fifteen hundred 
children are taught in their Sunday schools, and the 
Band of Hope numbers seven hundred. The young 
people preach as well as teach. Besides street corners 
and lodging-house kitchens, they use two mission 
chapels as centres of work. In all this their pastor 
takes little part. He cannot. It is his duty to occupy 
his pulpit with power, to fill his church, which holds 
two thousand people, and to maintain the membership, 
which stands at fifteen hundred. He has to breathe 
life into the whole organization, and he does it. His 
spare time and surplus energies he gives to public 



work. He is a member of the London School Board, 
and takes a keen interest in all local affiiirs. In 
religious matters he is an uncompromising Protestant 
to whom High Church views are anathema, and in 
politics an ardent Progressive. 

Though not eloquent, as a preacher he is forcible 
and original, without affectation or effort, except 
perhaps in occasionally straining after the eloquence he 
does not possess. He is perfectly at ease with his 
people. He does not speak down to their level, but, 
though altogether superior to them in education and 
power of thought, expects them to reach up to him. 
The means are adequate, the aims not too high, and 
success is assured. In a broad sense sympathy between 
the pastor and his people is at the bottom of it all.* 

There is in this combination of eager church-going 
with social politics and the spread of the Gospel by 
Young People's Christian Endeavour, something more 
of the new Wesleyan than of the old Baptist spirit. 
Music is appealed to. A full orchestra takes the place 
of the precentor's fork. There is more joyousness, 
less thought of impending judgment. The difference 
can be seen in the faces ot the people. Hardly would 
they be taken by any close observer for Baptists at all. 
This may in part be due to the average youthfulness of 
the congregation, which shares this characteristic with 
the whole population of the neighbourhood, but 

• What is ivri[f?n above was taken eolirel)' from my own notes, but is 
confirmed by the following extract from ihe evidence of nne of his Chtircb 
of England nei:>)ib(iurs :—• Wilson the Baptist, at the Tabernacle, is the 
most soccessful man with the working class. But 1 do not see in what bis 
particular strength lies, though I have tried to find out his secret. He 
is A good preachei and a good man, but not particularly clover or 
intellectually stront;. We are as good men, as good preachers and 
cerfaaps rather stronger intellectually, but we fail : why is it ? Mr. Wilson 
IS A man who always has a book in his hand, keeping his mind active ; 
though not a student, he gives his conRregation a great deal to interest 
tbem. and also a great deal to do for him ; he appears to delegate bis 
authority, but in reality rules. Are these the secrets of his power, or is it 
that he is mote of their class and can say things which somehow we 



mainly it coincides with a widespread popular tendency 
towards greater gaiety. The power to adapt himself to 
this growing tendency is one of the measures of 
Mr. Wilson's sympathies. 

Their church-going, and all that is connected with 
plays a great and wholesome part in the lives of th< 
people ; but the least satisfactory development is the 
attempt, which perhaps their creed compels, to rouse 
dormant souls to salvation by emotional appeals to 
' experiences.' There are times when, and conditions 
under which, these strange freaks of the spirit are, for 
certain natures, an inevitable and natural ebullition, 
breaking down the boundaries of the fiesh and, in a sense 
(which I will not try to define), opening the gates of 
heaven. But such experiences are dangerous forms of 
spiritual food, and prayer meetings can be put to better 
uses than the attempt to galvanize them into existence. 

In addition to this great Baptist establishment, there 
are within the bounds or in the immediate vicinity of 
the three central parishes — St. Mary Magdalene, Holjf] 
Trinity and St. John — churches of various othi 
denominations : Congregationalist, Wesleyan, Primiti' 
Methodist, and Presbyterian. There are also t 
chapels of the Strict Baptist kind, one of which 
nearly one hundred and fifty years old and the moth< 
of many. About none of these is there anythin^ 
special to say. The Presbyterian and Wesleyan havi 
been mentioned as reserving room for soldiers at their 
services, and the presence of the soldiers is no doubt an 
attraction to others ; but each of these churches has 
also a fairly strong 'natural body of supporters," m^nly 
middle-class people and tradesmen. The Congre- 
gationalists include even less of the popular, though 
not less of the influential, element. The Strict Baptists, 
as usual, have their special little flocks. It cannot be 
said that any of these Churches touch the life of the 
people in any very successful way, and their own 





congregational life is rather weak. More interest 
attaches to the efforts of the Church of England, for in 
addition to those already described, the district affords 
specimens of almost every kind ; and they are for the 
most part fitirly successful, though the clergy them- 
selves are dissatisfied. 

At St. John's, which is the last of the three central 
parishes of Woolwich, the church is very large and 
'greatly overpewed,' seating two thousand. The vicar 
had not (in September, 1900) been there quite a year, 
and came to an empty church. In nine or ten months, 
by visiting and preaching, he doubled his congregation; 
that is, the average attendance, which was fifty, became 
one hundred. The parish has a population of over 
ten thousand ; but there is, he says, * no parochial 
feeling in it.' Of those who rent pews only three 
are parishioners. ' The people think they have 
recognized the church sufficiently if they send their 
children to Sunday school.' For a vicar (who is 
something of a preacher), two curates, and a choir of 
forty persons, to say nothing of district visitors, 
Sunday school teachers, and a paid mission woman, there 
is not much to show ; but it may be hoped that more 
will come. For the southern part of the parish, which 
is completely separated from the northern by the 
barracks, there is a mission church, where another 
minute congregation gathers, and mothers' meetings, 
Band of Hope, &c., complete the tale. The service of 
the church is * medium,' tending a little towards High 
(black stoles with eastward position), and this may 
perhaps be the kind of compromise which foils to 
please. At any rate, there is a greater measure of 
success at St. Michael's across the common to the 
west, where the ritual is thoroughly High, and still 
more so at St. James's, Burrage Road, to the east, 
included with Plumstead, where it is thoroughly 


At St. Michael's, as at St. John's, the vicar is 
a new comer, but he has onljr had to carry on the 
tradition of his predecessors, which has made of this 
church a stronghold of Ritualism, and some local 
success is claimed. It is said that, in spite of the 
* prevailing apathy,' and from amongst those ^who 
care for little beyond eating and drinking,' men are 
found who ^ like definite teaching,' and it is of such 
that the congregation is built up, the artisan class 
being represented in it. The number of communicants 
is large compared to the church attendance, which, 
when we were present (apart from clergy, choir, and 
children), amounted at most to one hundred for the 
morning service and one hundred and fifty in the 
evening. Amongst these a very devout spirit was 
manifest. There are day schools for about seven 
hundred children, and Sunday schools with half that 

There is, as we have said, a Roman Catholic church 
situated near the barracks, serving, amongst others, 
the Catholic soldiery. In all, it has a Catholic popula- 
tion of about four thousand to take care of. Beyond 
the soldiers, an uncertain element, they are working- 
class people, mostly Irish employed at the Arsenal, and 
large numbers of them have served in the army. The 

Eriests have a thorough knowledge of these men, and 
Iter I shall quote from their remarks. A good many 
of their flock are indifferent or difficult to reach ; but 
the church has been actively worked, and the proportion 
of the people who * perform their religious duties ' is 
about as usual. There are four Masses on Sunday, 
at which about one thousand adults attend. 

Father Reeks, the mission rector, has died since 
our inquiry was made. He was deeply loved by his 
own people, and respected by all, and his funeral was 
attended by a great concourse of people. 


§ 4 


The general religious tone of Plumstead is Evan- 
gelical. The vicar of one of the parishes, an Evangelical 
himself, * though not so much so as the congregation,* 
says the people speak of the * scarlet sin,' the * scarlet 
woman,' &c., and hold the Papacjr in abomination. 
The young think they have a mission to fight against 
it, and do not like to be told, as he has had occasion 
to tell them, that the great danger is not Rome, but 
disunion amongst themselves. 

Plumstead at one time shared with Woolwich a 
reputation of parish neglect, and one of its parishes 
still retains this reputation. Its vicar, who has held 
the office for many years, is the survival of a past 
state of things. It might be quite easy to excuse, 
and even perhaps possible to defend, his course of 
action or inaction; but it is easier to attack, and he 
is attacked a good deal. To those who assume that 
almost everything can be done by trying, it is indeed 
vexatious to have to deal with those who think that 
nothing can be done. Through the varying exercises 
of criticism, be it appreciation, approval, defence, excuse, 
or condemnation, as to all forms of religious action in 
London, it will be my business later on to endeavour 
to conduct my readers. At present I will only say, 
as has been said already of some other parts of London, 
that it is not very easy to trace much diflFerence, in 
broad results on the population, between activity and 
neglect, or between the many diflferent forms which 
religious activity assumes. I will take each parish in 

St. James's is an old-established Evangelical church 
(black gown and evening communion), and, like 
St. Michael's on the west side of the common, lives 
by its reputation, in this case largely created by the 


present incumbent. Men go where the services suit 
them. If one church fills, another empties, amongst 
Evangelicals the interchange majr be with the Non- 
conformist churches. It almost seems (says the vicar) 
as though there were a fixed proportion of church and 
chapel-goers in each class. The most remarkable 
feature at St. James's is the number of church 
workers, of artisan or lower middle class, and the 
power that is delegated to them. To a great extent 
they manage the finances of the church ; they preach 
out of doors, and go forth as missionaries. They are 
trusted, and they are loyal. None of them are rich, 
nor any exactly poor. In this they represent the 
congregation, of which the few who, by comparison, 
can be called rich live beyond the parish boundary. 

The church (which holds about six hundred) may 
be nearly half-full in the morning and about two-thirds 
at night. It is a genuine religious gathering, with an 
earnest devotional spirit. The disappointment felt by 
the vicar no doubt arises from the fact that those 
touched are so select a class. All efforts to get further 
into the hearts of the people fail. 

The attempt made at St. Margaret's, Plumstead, 
which is now considered the mother parish (having 
taken the place of St. Nicholas), is different. The 
ritual is, perhaps, rather Low than High, but the 
life of the church does not seem to depend upon any 
such points. The vicar, who has been here two years, 
has in that short time filled his church, and also 
enlarged it, and has put life — and joyous life — into all 
its work. It is a very large and scattered parish. To 
the south it ends in fields and woods by the side 
of Watling Street — the old Dover Road — while 
a detached portion lies north of St. James's, on the 
low level near the Arsenal, and here the vicar thinks 
it essential there should be a mission room. Mean- 
while, it is where the church stands, on the hill by 

tnC * ^i^MPinai 


An Saints' to 
middle-ciass dis 
in the daT3 

other churches 

the chdch is ^ao 
pnctkallT fdL Tsc jK n x ur 
less is s^ aboct • 
much of h, bet tberr s a 

f ; use X Jt ml 

<t Jt tr ^SOTK 

rdigioos quesdocsu* ATfiang ':3e soade^^s^aM vsodm^ 
dwelling aloDg tae 2SI fode^ v^sc^ ^^■s*^'^ frsot iKuns.^ 

'• ♦»'— 

the feding is nivuAt fzOBssKiBC. mii lEjneujg&d- tait 



'^ Wt^ 

or chape]; as an ¥:Krter HstSL koad ^x v&&^ .^^^ 
arc intensdj interested it ^ xrjsrv^rmt^^Bajd. 'S^k^ 
in the soul-sdrrfxae tMcCSk of ^^sa^'^asir lusmMo^ wje^ 
professkmal evjng r F^ s, To oaess ^ ^jfjsn^^srw/s. at ^r^ 
to become both ^A^sfaa aood Qsoag^ »in<sars </ AJ^j^t 
only/ The effixts of tie <fxj^*:z^^^ V^^ ^^^ ^ 
Ladies* 2>nana working yans% aorT <^!Ser ffo^Aotry 
enterprise. Bjr all this tae workbo^ db«>«{?t, <^ i^^/rn 
the int^x)rtion is coosadenble anxw^ tJie «^jwte>>rj, 
are pncticallj muntercsCed md. taoMv^i^f ^^^^^ 


as regards the class concerned| it is a successful 

In St. Margaret's parish there is a large and old- 
cstaMished Wesleyan Church which does not show 
much life, and the Unitarians and Brethren are also 
represented. In All Saints' the Bible Christians have 
a church which may perhaps seem less successful than 
it really is, because the building is rather large for its 
congregation, and the Primitive Methodists here, 
whose chapel is quite small, have a more flourishing 

St. Mark's and the Ascension are mission districts 
detached from the old mother parish of St. Nicholas, 
and are struggling with many difficulties. St. Mark's 
is a basement church, the flat roof of which is intended 
to be the floor of the edifice that is yet to build. 
The missioner is a remarkable man, who strives to 
catch the working classes in a net of which High 
Church principles and practices. Socialist sentiments, 
pulpit eloquence, and personal influence, form the 
meshes. Except for children and a few regular 
retainers his church is empty on Sunday morning, but 
in the evening it is crowded with the most distinctly 
popular audience to be found in this district. It is an 
audience and not as yet a congregation ; though in time 
it may perhaps become one. There is attached to this 
church a fair-sized working men's club which, as usual, 
does not lead to churchgoing. A special Sunday after- 
noon club was established, resulting in the gathering 
together of one or two hundred rough lads, but the 
entertainment which attracted them, and was intended 
to lead them eventually to the church, was disapproved 
by the ruridecanal conference, and the scheme has had 
to be dropped. Here we have a church which does 
indeed break new ground, but as to which it is difficult 
to say whether the religious influence exerted is of 
any great value. It is peculiar in that it attracts 

and ccXkcts the less wcO-to^io 2nd kss sooillf 
respedtaUe <^ the worldly dbaaes who cxmsrimtr tiie 

The Ascenson district, as a piece of Qinrdi work, 
is still more incomplete. Here^ too, tlie cfiort is to 
catch the elusive workii^ man. The ^hook is farted 
in various ways,* and, as in fishing there ^are maxij 
disappointments.' ^ The men take a lot of wnning/ 
They are ^ friendly, but patronising ; * ^ very pleased to 
see you ; * ^ will come some day, — but don't. Never- 
theless the schoolroom church on the northern verge 
of the mis^on district b reported to be well filled 
on Sunday evening. On Sunday morning it is of 
course empty. To the south new houses are spring- 
ing up rapidly, and the site <^ the new church now 
in the open fields will soon be surrounded by 

Finally we come to the remains <^ the ancient 
parish or St. Nichdas, with its old — pardy very old — 
church, having a Jacobean red brick tower <^ exceeding 
beauty, and a churchyard frill <^ headstones old and 
new. Here, just beyond the tramway terminus, 
London ends, and the fix>tpath which passes amongst 
the tombs leads out into the open ridge-wrought fidds 
of Kent. Look East or North, there is no house nor 
sign of habitation to be seen. With a litde efibrt of 
imagination London is forgotten, and we hear the bell 
and join the evening service as at some Ullage church. 
The edifice inside is small and old-fiishioned, and of 
quaint shape ; the reception by the verger very 
courteous, and the attendance just such as village 
streets might supply ; while the arrangements of the 
service are at least a century behind the present age. 
If there is no failure here, it is because nothing new 
is ever attempted. This is the parish of Kino; Log. 

The population is still large, and is rapidly increasing. 
In addition to the mission district already described, 
V 8 • 


there is another (St. Paul's), of which an active curate 
has the sole management. It has a small church 
of its own, set down and almost lost amongst the new 
streets near the railway. Great is the contrast ! The 
building itself might be a Methodist chapel, so devoid 
is it of any architectural effect, but within there is a fiill 
choir of men and boys dressed in white surplices, and 
everything else that is considered right and requisite 
for the service of God according to the most modern 
ideas. The little place fills for the evening service with 
poor folk, mostly women. If there be failure here — if, 
for instance, the men are seldom persuaded to come, at 
least one is convinced that it is not for want of trying. 

West of St. Nicholas, between it and Holy Trinity, 
Woolwich, lies St. John's, Plumstead, the only exponent 
of High Church principles in this neighbourhood, 
with priest, assistant priest, two Grey Ladies, sixteen 
visitors and twenty-five Sunday school teachers as its 
parochial staff. The visitors act mainly as collectors. 
The church is rather empty on Sunday morning, 
and looks desolate, but its beautiful long red brick 
interior lights up well, and a good congregation 
gathers there at night. It consists mostly of young 
women in smart attire, but is drawn, I think, from the 

The Roman Catholic population in Plumstead is 
considerably smaller than in Woolwich, numbering only 
a little over one thousand. But their small church is 
successful in its way. It is an unpretentious structure, 
to the internal fitting and decoration of which some 
members of the congregation for months gave their 
time and work in the evening after the Arsenal closed. 

In the same vicinity, mostly in St. Nicholas* parish, 
but nearer to St. John's Church, there are several fairly 
successful chapels. One, belonging to the Baptists, has 
a congregation that, with the exception of a few shop- 
keepers, is composed entirely of working men. They 


are intensely religious and steadiest as Church workers. 
So much earnestness, their pastor says, he never met till 
he came here. His remarks on the art of winning and 
holding a congregation such as his, strike me as of 
general application and interest, and will show how he 
has succeeded in filling a formerly empty church. 

Preaching he makes his main business. 'You will 
never ' (he says) ' get the working man to church 
except through preaching. He is not hostile to 
religious worship, but indifferent. To attract you 
must interest, to interest you must speak. Worship 
is the real reason for coming to church, but the work- 
ing man cannot worship ; he does not know how to 
and must be taught. He can and does learn only 
from the pulpit. Therefore you must preach. What 
is the essential follows after. But in preaching you 
have to be careful not to excite, or a reaction will 
follow and undo later the immediate good.' 

In this church they seek no stimulus from outside. 
If the minister is unable to be there himself some 
member of the congregation occupies his place. 
Among these people what the world calls pleasures 
are disapproved ; theatres and music-halls are shunned. 
Church work is their interest, and marketing on 
Saturday their amusement. 

The Primitive Methodists hard by are equally 
earnest and equally successful. Their commodious 
chapel is well filled and the staff of their workers 
includes sixty Sunday school teachers. The children 
are those or their own members, some coming from 
a distance — for there is a movement among them 
towards the higher ground by the Common — with others 
from the immediate neighbourhood. The Brethren, 
too, have a chapel near here and another higher up 
on the Common, where building is proceeding apace, 
and the Peculiar People have one or two chapels. 

Baptists, Primitives and Brethren, all draw their 


adherents from the strongly religious substratum that is 
as noticeable a fact in English working-class life as is 
the superstructure of indifference. With the religious- 
minded there is some shifting about as taste or tradition 
may lead, but, finally, they assort themselves among the 
various churches and chapels. All the denominations 
succeed in bringing together fair evening congregations, 
but ' if every church and chapel were full the mass of 
the population would remain untouched.' 

The limitations of this religious world are even more 
manifest with the undenominational missions, of which 
there are several here. Their workers are drawn from 
the various Christian bodies. The outsiders who can 
be interested are few and eagerly competed for. 

In all these missions the 'Soldier Christian' and the 
' Christian Soldier ' play important parts, and it may be 
In connection with this spirit that the Salvation Army 
seems to be more successful here than in many parts of 
London, but it, too, is subject to the same limitations. 

Linked with Woolwich for municipal and registra- 
tion purposes is North Woolwich, an anomalous area 
on the north bank of the Thames. It contains about 
three thousand inhabitants, and forms part of the 
parish of St. John the Evangelist, which is in the 
diocese of St. Alban's. The people are entirely 
working class, finding their employment In the docks 
and numerous factories of Silvertown. Their homes 
are rather poorly built two-storeyed houses wedged 
in between the Thames and the Royal Albert Dock, 
A few shops relieve the dreariness of the streets, but 
most of the women shop in Woolwich, crossing by the 
free ferry. On the other hand there is, at this point, 
an excellent public garden, the gift of the London 
County Council, with an extensive river frontage, much 
frequented by the people of Woolwich as well as of 


Besides the church, which has its schools, there is 
a chiq>el and a small mission in the district, while just 
beyond its borders are several chapels. 



It may serve to strengthen what I have said if 1 add 
some extracts from the remarks made by the clergy 
and ministers of religion on the people they are trying 
to serve ; not as to their particular flocks, but as 
to the population generally. 

One of the ablest of the Church of England clergy 
is convinced that the only advance lies in concentration. 
Each church must endeavour to obtain a firm hold of 
a few. This, he adds, is the chief use of the missions, 
which, though they have no permanent effect on the 
outsiders, increase greatly the fervour of the inner band 
of communicants who may * spread the light ; * for 
there is, he says, speaking generally, almost complete 
indifierence to religion ; and, he concludes, that, as far 
as the mass of people is concerned, ^ you can't and 
won't get them to church.' 

Another, while confirming this, attributes the apathy 
mainly, not to atheism, but to sin ; not, as he said, 
* to grave sin,' but rather to the general tendency to 
a low moral standard. 

A prominent G^ngregationalist, referring to the 
complete failure of the churches to touch the great 
mass of the people, says : ^ Such new members as join 
are not conversions, but the children of Christian 
people,' and adds that those churches which devote 
themselves incessantly to running missions gain indeed 
a constant stream 01 newcomers, but suffer a propor- 


tional leakage, and that their ministers are maintained 
in good heart only by * invincible optimism/ Ask, he 
says, the ministers of the churches and chapels in the 
districts beyond Woolwich and Plumstead, towards 
Erith and Dartford, where a huge working-class 
population is springing up, whether this growth adds 
to their congregations, and the reply will be, * No, not 
one ; ' and he notes, as a symptom of the prevailing 
feeling, that in the Arsenal a religious man is a marked 
man, for setting up to be better than others. Never- 
theless he is not without an optimism of his own, 
believing that to evangelize the masses in the churches 
as they stand would not be impossible if the services 
were less formal and dull and sermons less con- 
ventional. His congregation (ultra-respectable middle- 
class) prefer, however, to stick to the old paths, and 
would rather leave the masses to the missions. This 
minister alluded in very strong terms to the low 
moral tone of the Arsenal workers, and he is cor- 
roborated by another quite unbiassed witness who 
SSLVS that both the mor^ tone and religious attitude 
or many of the men leave much to be desired. 

From one of the Catholic priests, a far from harsh 
judging man, we hear a similar account of the tone of 
the Arsenal, as making both for immorality and 
infidelity. But still, taking the district as a whole, 
he gives it a very good name for independence of 
character, steadiness, regularity and quiet behaviour. 
He also spoke well of the general capacity of the 
inhabitants, repeating a local saving, * There are no 
fools in Woolwich.* Another ot the same community 
speaks of his flock as not remarkable observers of the 
laws of the Church, but as being all regularly employed 
and earning good wages ; with no outcasts or utterly 

I should be sorry to endorse any sweeping indict- 
ment of the Arsenal and the men employed there. 


The tone must vary from shop to shop ; the men will 
be of all characters — some excellent in every way and 
some blackguards ; careful men and good co-operators 
as well as thoughtless spendthrifts ; and ardent 
Christians as well as those who are without any 
religious faith ; but all agree in stating that in a general 
way this aggregation of men exercises an anti-religious 
influence, and this is probably true. 

Thus we are told by one who speaks with experience 
that the Arsenal people as a whole, and the rest of the 
working class with them, are even more indifferent and 
difficult to touch than is most places. This comes 
from a parish which admittedly contains the pick of these 
men, and where the prevailing note is great prosperity 
and weU-being. The indifference is partly attributed 
to past neglect on the part of the Church and partly to 
* a strong anti-religious spirit in the Arsenal.* It is 
bad form, we are told, even to nod to a parson in the 
street. A club for men started at the vicarage failed 
because ^ they disliked to be seen entering its gates.' 
Yet this witness is, certainly as regards the clergy of 
the Church of England, the most successful in his 
parish work of all those we have seen. It is note- 
worthy that in this neighbourhood generally the social 
undertakings of the Church are on a small scale ; 
designed rather for those that are already interested 
than for the purpose of recruiting. It is recognised 
that in these matters the Church cannot pretend to 
rival the Polytechnic. We learn, moreover, that the 
arrangements for social and educational recreation at the 
Arsenal are excellent and complete. All of which gives 
much cause for reflection, as showing how small is 
the space occupied by religion. 

A Baptist, who is himself not altogether unsuccess- 
ful, remarks that although there are some who claim 
to see signs of improvement and revival, he must 
confess that he cannot see them himself. He never 


knew a district where the indifference was so gr< 
and the reason he assigns is the sense of comfort 
security enjoyed. 

' I pray that some great calamity may not befidl 
as a judgment for our ungodliness,' said one of tl 
most earnest of the Evangehcals after a reference to tl 
* respectable indifference ' to religion of a large propor- 
tion of his parishioners. He thinks there is 'too little 
fear of God, too much stress laid on His mercy 
and forgiveness.' Sweet, it is said, are the uses of 
adversity. Prosperity, perchance, may carry a curse. 

The story of the Bible Christian Church in 
Saints' parish is of interest. It had had a success] 
past in Woolwich, but the class of people on whom 
depended moved away and it was left deserte 
Thereupon an effort was made, a site was found, and 
a beautiful church built in the new and prosperous 
district *on the hill ;' but success did not come. The 
present minister, who is a man of vigour, lays aside 
as useless the modern methods for sugaring religion 
and pursues his aim slowly, but it may be hoped surely, 
on spiritual lines. He admits that ' Pleasant Sunday 
Afternoon' services do not reach the class aimed at. 
He even thinks that missions do more harm than good 
to the cause of religion, merely affording the * oppor- 
tunity for a spiritual debauch' to those given that 
way ; while Saturday concerts, instead of drawing in 
the 'public-house and drinking lot,' attract mainly 
church and chapel-goers ; 'serving only to feed* (and 
here I think he is rather hard on the people) ' that 
inordinate love of pleasure which is the greatest 
hindrance to religious work,' and by late hours on 
Saturday, likely to ' unfit them for their Sunday 

Amongst the ministers who meet at the 'fraternal' 
(a clerical breakfiist party) there is an idea that 
Woolwich is worse than other places in respect of' 




religious itidifFerence. From every denomination we 
have the same story : ' The men are intelligent, but 
atheism and indifference affect everything.' They 
' observe all the decencies of life, but are not re- 
ligiously inclined.' ' Fairly moral and respectable, but 
indifferent largely to spiritual things.' ' Though 
impervious to religion the people are in the main 
respectable as well as prosperous.' It is 'an excellent 
marrying district ;' so much so that girls who go into 
service disHke to leave the neighbourhood. 

Nor is it certain that those whom the churches 
attract are the best possible specimens of humanity. 
The vicar of one of the parishes is outspoken as to 
this. He notes the tendency to be *sawneys' and 
* namby pamby ' among the members of the Y. M. C. A. 
and young church-members generally ; and feels 
strongly the need of more manliness in religion. The 
apathy and selfishness of professing Christians is also 
freely denounced ; for instance, in regard to temperance 
work, it is noted that although there is much fervour 
of expression, no practical action is taken. 

But, on the other side, I should be wrong were 1 to 
omit reference to the splendid character tor devoted 
work given by the clergy and ministers of all denomi- 
nations here, as elsewhere, to those who support 
them. Even more here than in other localities, the 
work of the Church is the life of the congregation, 
providing constant occupation for its members and 
becoming the chief interest in many of their lives. 

The practical limitation of dientUe within which the 
Churches work, is shown by the fact that the Evangel- 
ical character of the surrounding churches weakens 
Nonconformity wherever it occurs, though it may 
help a High Church neighbour, and by the generally 
accepted statement that at the end *only a fringe 
of the population is touched at all.' As another 
remarkable illustration of these limits, we hear of 


the senior members of a Church of England Bible-class 
being * very steady men/ who * won't be confirmed * 
and who, without exception, attend the service at 
Mn Wilson's tabernacle. 

Wherever in this district there is at this time 
actual poverty, there is also degradation ; for only the 
degraded are poor. Upon this combination of poverty 
and degradation religion fails to make any impression. 
Many ways are tried, but none succeed. Mission or 
other special services do not attract the class at which 
they are aimed ; or only do so in one or two instances 
by lavish charity when the ^ constant cases of blessing 
and conversion ' must be regarded with suspicion. 



The Woolwich Polytechnic is an important 
institution. It was started under the auspices of 
Mr. Quintin Hogg largely as a Young Men's 
Christian Institute, and still carries that name as 
a second title. Under these conditions its scope 
became rather narrow and it fell into financial 
difficulties from which it was saved by development 
of its educational side. The monetary obstacles being 
thus overcome, there has been a fresh movement in 
the social and religious direction, of which the most 
definite undertaking is a men's own service on Sunday 
afternoon, of a distinctly religious character, largely 
attended by respectable working men. But it is as 
an institution for ^ the promotion of industrial skill, 
general knowledge, health and well-being,' that the 
Polytechnic principally plays and appears to be destined 
to play, its part at Woolwich. The particulars of the 


science and other classes of the Institute itself fill a 
small volume. And there is besides a Technical 
and Commercial day school for boys and girls. 

The curriculum provided by the Polytechnic, in 
which physical science preponderates, is very com- 
prehensive and many developments are contemplated. 
Still the always difficult task of attracting artisans 
and mechanics in large numbers has not been over- 
come, and most of the students come from the dass 
above. That the great body of the Arsenal men 
hold aloof may be partly explained by the prevalence 
of overtime, but still more perhaps by the normal 
disinclination of young men of the artisan dass to 
spend their leisure in the effort to secure mental or 
technical advancement. The courses are open to old 
as well as young, but about twenty is the usual age 
for students ; one-sixth of them are women. 

The excellent arrangements for social and educational 
recreation at the Arsenal itself have been already 
referred to. Its examinations for boys, and the 
certainty of good industrial training as well as good 
wages to follow, provide, we are told, a great mental 
stimulus for those employed there. The fnendly 
witness who mentions this says also that the tone of 
the place is not particularly bad now, but admits that 
at times it has had a very bad name for swearing and 
blackguardism, and thinks the authorities might be more 
careful in these respects than they are. Evidently it is 
a case in which a good and bad influence may run side 
by side. As to vice and evil talk it must be difficult 
for the authorities to do much in the way of restraint ; 
but as to drink, irregidarity of attendance due to this 
cause leads to dismissal, and we hear that some thirty 
men are discharged every week on that account. 
Gambling and betting also are forbidden, and it is said 
some improvement has been effected ; but the betting 
agents meet the men outside in the dinner hour. 


On the marshes to the east of the Arsenal 
a football ground with grand stand, and there have at 
times (before the war no doubt) been as many as 
twenty-five thousand onlookers on a Saturday after- 
noon. Boys pay 3^/ and men dd or is. The marshes 
afford space for other sports unconnected with the 
Arsenal, such as whippet racing and pigeon shooting ; 
and also for gipsy encampments of vans and small 
brown tents. It is real fen country, with deep dykes 
at each side of the roads and broad green fields divided 
by ditches full of wild flowers. At the extreme north 
are the Arsenal rifle butts and the ground for the trials 
of big guns, the reverberations of which shake and even 
break the windows of Woolwich. 

Of the consequences on health and habits of the 
amount of overtime worked lately we have heard 
much. The men become sick and worn out, and it 
appears probable that little good comes of the extra 
money thus earned. At any rate, the Churches 
complain that they see none of it. Indeed, they receive 
less, for attendance at church is interfered with and the 
collections suffer. The wives make much the same 
complaint, and for the same reason ; the home is 
interfered with. More drink Is an almost certain 
outcome of physical exhaustion, and low forms of 
pleasure are a natural relief from the strain. The wife 
of an office-bearer of the United Methodist Free 
Church, whose husband works at the Arsenal, gave us 
an extraordinary account of the extent to which over- 
time had been carried in his department. In one spell 
of fourteen weeks he had only one Sunday off, and in 
place of forty-eight hours he actually worked as much 
as a hundred and four per week, so that, including the 
overtime allowance, he earned three times the amount 
of his ordinary wages. But the strain had been too 
great. It got on his nerves, and he had to be exempted 
by doctor's certificate. * Plenty of money ? — yes — but 




bodier the money; health is best,' said his fiuthful 
wife. It is not to be supposed that in this case the 
monejr did not come home or that the Church suficred 
except by the loss of service. That all the extra 
earnings made are not squandered is jMX>ved by the 
increased amounts put into various thrin agencies and 
by the extensive buying of houses. 

One of the results of employment at the Arsenal 
(and it will apply to the Dockyard also) is said to be 
a narrowing of the class point of view. It is not, 
says our informant, that die men become Socialists, 
but that they become selfish as a result of employment 
by the State. The remark comes from a Church of 
England parson, probably a Conservative ; but we get 
the same idea from a Unitarian minister who is 
undoubtedly a Radical, and who complains, as 
a politician, that the men of the Arsenal are Con- 
servatives because they believe that their employment 
wiU be best under a Conservative government. Some 
narrowing of the dass point of view may possibly arise 
from the fact that those engaged are all employees; 
all men and no masters. There can be nothing quite 
equivalent to that representation of the master's 
interest which is found amongst the responsible foremen 
and heads of departments in private, profit-earning, 
concerns, even when these are on the largest scale. 

The efilect of the abundant work and the high pay 
offered is shown by the impossibility of obtaining 
labour for gardening, window cleaning, &c., and at 
the schools in the eagerness of the boys to escape 
at the earliest possible moment. 

As to thrift, amid all this prosperity, we have a short 
cut to a conclusion in the phrase, * Many are thrifty, 
the rest drink.' But there are some who say that 
thrift is carried almost to the extent of meanness. 
Here and there we have complaints from the chapels 
of lack of support from their members, with this 


explanation. In one case, the member had transferred 
his allegiance to a mission where religion could be 
had cheap. We are told that a getting and grasping 
spirit prevails ; that the acquisition of property is the 
dominant idea in Woolwich, and the sole object of 
life seemingly to buy a house. We hear also that 
the tendency among those who are best off is to 
make little show and live below their incomes. 

To whatever extent the money may be saved, or in 
whatever way it may be spent, at present (1900) all 
have plenty. * A prosperous town of prosperous artisans 
and workmg men,' said one of the Catholic priests. 
*Yet,' said another of them, * there is not a week 
between any one of us and the workhouse; and we 
all say it and laugh.' But that there ought to be 
no poor is only what everyone says. *The people 
are all young, and if they are poor it is not for want 
of money, but of knowledge how to spend it.' It 
is noteworthy with what success district visitors can 
collect savings which would probably be spent if the 
visitor were not expected. 

With regard to drink, what is commonly reported 
is that, though much is taken, it is with decreasing 
effect. There is less drunkenness. *They only get 
three parts drunk.' * Hundreds of men spena los 
a week on drink who are seldom, if ever, drunk.* 
* There is no drunkenness — more is consumed, but it 
is not considered the thing to get drunk,' — such are 
the opinions, and the public-houses are reported as well 

The clubs have a far worse reputation. Strong 
language is used regarding them, which may be 
exaggerated, but cannot be disregarded. *They may 
be called Conservative or Radical, the names are 
blinds; the results are the same.' 

In this district we hear little of women drinking, 
and in this connection it is to be remarked that, even 


amongst those that are poor, it is unusual for the 
wives to work. Nor is there any local employment 
for girls beyond domestic service, which orten only 
means home work or assisting a neighbour, although 
there is also some demand for servants from the houses 
of the ndghbouring rich. The rising standard of 
demand is indicated by the requirement, in the case 
of a young general servant mentioned to us, of ^ an 
extra evening's liberty in order to continue piano 
lessons.' The daughters of well-to-do artisans find 
employment for the most part in the City as shop 
assistants, or clerks or waitresses, and go to their work 
by train, as do many of the boys also. 

We have said it is a great marrying district. To 
this career young women naturally look forward, and 
we may add that the moral standard among them is 
high. We hear little of ante-nuptial relations, and 
if there are some men and women living together 
unmarried it is because of the embarrassment of 
a pre-existing legal tie. Large families are usual. An 
old Wesleyan local preacher said he had never seen 
so many children as there are here. 

Vice is professional. The soldiers are, as always, 
a difficulty. The Common at night is a scene of much 
disorder, which it is found very difficult to check. 
On the other hand, very few of the men can be allowed 
to marry, and if married * off the strength ' their wives 
lead wretched lives. One of the streets near the 
barracks is let in rooms to these poor women. 

There has, however, been great improvement 
amongst the soldiers, both as to drink and vice, due 
to the care and consideration shown by the commanding 
officers for the general welfare of the men, in response 
to a movement emanating from headquarters. ^It 
was very different twenty years ago, when things went 
on that are almost incredible now. 




We have already described Charlton inland as far as 
Kidbrooke and the Common, and along the river side 
as far as the Dockyard. The town of Woolwich is 
remarkable for broad streets, sudden hills, and unex- 
pected turnings; and this character is continued into 
Plumstead, which consists of rapidly rising ground 
interspersed with ravines. The great natural beauties 
of the situation have been thrown away, and the 
Common, which might have been made into an exquisite 
park, has been irretrievably ruined. Local government 
has much to answer for in the past ; forethought has 
been wanting; general and permanent advantage has 
been sacrificed to immediate private profit, and the 
place has been spoilt for ever. 

The streets of Plumstead are dull ; the houses are 
ugly, two-storeyed erections of yeUow brick, for the 
most part new. In the daytime the roadways are 
deserted, except when the children tumble out ot 
school, leaving a litter of small paper bags which 
once held pennyworths of sweets or fruit, or when 
a straggling crowd of men hurry through on their 
way to or from home during the dinner hour. The 
house doors are shut, the windows screened with well 
ordered curtains. Everything seems asleep. The 
women are up and doubtless busy, but they are at 
work within, or in the yards or small gardens behind. 
No one is seen in front, and the door shuts behind 
fiither or child returning home. There is no life in 
the street; not even a tallyman goes his round, for 
they find no room to live in co-operative Plumstead. 
At night, unless it be Saturday night and the High 
Street, all is dull and dark, except that men sit with 
pipe in mouth on their doorstep, and from the parlour 
may be heard the sound of a piano. All this would 


be endurable, and might even be r^arded as idyllic, 
if only the streets led up to a beautiful park, such 
as the Common land ought to have become. Something 
might still be done. Part of the Common remains, 
and would repay care. At any rate, the future may 
be safeguarded. Further to the east this has been 
done by the acquisition by the London County Council 
of Bostall Wood, a real country wood of fir-trees and 
rough plantations, where wild flowers grow, already 
needing police protection. 

This wood, and Bostall Heath beyond, are both 
within the metropolitan boundary, but as to houses 
London practically ends at Wickham Lane, in the 
valley which lies to the eastward of the Conunon. 
This will soon be built upon, but is to-day occupied 
by market gardens; and the houses that stand in the 
lane set forth badly-written notices inviting wayfarers 
to the enjoyment of winkles, watercress, eggs, and 
cake. To the south, from Eltham Common eastward, 
lie other woods and fields; and in this direction, as 
L>ondon extends, it is to be hoped that there will be 
more forethought given to the retention of open spaces 
and natural beauty than has been the case in the past. 

It is perhaps mainly to the bad service of trains, 
and the railure to extend tramways across Blackheath, 
that we owe the existence of these open fields and 
woods to-day ; and it is very clear that we cannot 
prudently advance in the one direction without con- 
sidering what will be spoilt as well as what is brought 
into use ; and without safeguarding, for extending 
L>ondon, as much grass and trees and air as possible. 

Meanwhile the train service as it exists is a grievous 
inconvenience to the existing population. Some twelve 
miles of distance lies between Woolwich and Central 
L>ondon, and after allowing themselves about forty 
minutes, the infrequent trains are usually (but most 
irregularly) behind time ; it may be ten, twenty, thirty 
V 9 • 


or even forty minutes. Improvement is promised, and 
it is none too soon. 

The Vestries of Woolwich and Plumstead have 
recently been united as one borough, with the addition 
of Eltham. When our inquiry was made local 
administration was still in the hands of the Vestries. 
As to both * a low moral tone ' was complained of, the 
work being subject, it was said, to * petty influences,' 
but the Progressives were strong, especially at Plum- 
stead. In the matter of housing the troubles at 
Woolwich are those of old buildings and crowding, 
and at Plumstead of new and shoddy work and rapid 
extension — of houses let before they are begun, and 
occupied before they are dry. Otherwise conditions 
vary mainly with the nature of the soil and the level of 
the ground. Those who move into better quarters 
move to some higher part of the neighbourhood. On 
all this much has already been said. Tubercular 
disease, attributed to the dampness of the houses, is 
prevalent in some parts, but the upper regions have an 
excellent character. Rents are rising everywhere. Our 
Woolwich reports say : * Great crowding, rents very 
high ; houses almost impossible to obtain.' * Rents 
inordinately high ; great demand for houses.' * House 
rent too high for working men.' Several instances of 
overcrowding are given ; but the people, if well enough 
off, refuse to be crowded. Rents are rising, too, in 
Plumstead, with the difficulty of obtaining houses, but 
so far there is little or no crowding. 

There are baths, washhouses, and electric lighting 
works. The baths are boasted of as being the best 
in London, and the water supplied by the Woolwich 
water-works is excellent. The roads, at any rate in the 
higher portions of Woolwich and in Plumstead, are 
broad, clean and well kept. 

Woolwich Poor Law Union includes Plumstead, 


Kidbrooke and Charlton. As to the Guardians, we are 
told that many of them take real interest in their 
charges, but the desire for better conditions is con- 
trolled by the necessity of keeping rates down. A 
gradual improvement does, however, result. The 
amount of out-relief is kept within bounds, being only 
given when it can be supplemented from other sources, 
so as to provide a sufficient income. But the policy 
is not uniformly carried out, depending largely on the 
relieving officers. As to the sick, the infirmary is 
warmly praised ; as to children, as many as possible 
are boarded out, and new schools on the block system 
are being built. Classification of the inmates of the 
workhouse has been attempted ; and some of the able- 
bodied have been sent at the Guardians* expense to the 
Salvation Army labour colony. If they come back 
they are prosecuted. On the whole the administration 
of the poor law is active, and the policy progressive. 


DB5CR1PT1VB N0TE5. Map R. (Vol. V., Part I.. Cbaptbr HI.). 

Woolwich and Plumstead. 

Qoneral Character. — The map comprises the districts of Woolwich 
and Plumstead. The general character is fairly comfortable working class, 
with patches of poverty, and one large ' black ' area lying immediately 
west of the Royal Arsenal. East of Woolwich Common the predominance 
of the pink classes is strongly marked. Servants are kept in the main 
■hopping streets, and in those tenanted by officers' wives; the 'pink 
barred with red ' again denotes lodging-house streets- where the clerks and 
higher employees at the Arsenal live. The barracks and the Royal Arsenal 
are the controlling factors of Woolwich life. Young families, chiefly those 
of Arsenal employees, are especially noticeable in Plumstead. Employers 
and those who keep servants are the exception. The population of 
Woolwich is far greater than would appear from the map, because the 
•cheme of colouring adopted does not include the soldiers in barracks. 

Poverty Areas. — ^There is new poverty connected with rough labour 
at the cable works on the low ground Iving west of the Royal Doc^ard. 
For the rest, poverty occurs in small, long-established patches in Old 
Woolwich, caused by the presence of labourers and the loafers attendant 
on garrison life. The large black patch off the west side of the Arsenal is 
the 'Dust-hole' {vids p. 90). Off the south-east side of Woolwich Common 
is garrison poverty and vice. Further East in Plumstead on the low 
ground off the north side of the Plumstead road, is new Irish labouring 
poverty and another small patch off the south side of the Common is 
connected with market-garden labour. The ' purple ' streets in Plumstead 
generally mark the homes of labourers employed at the Arsenal. Pros- 
perity here is intimately bound up with the condition of arsenal work. 

Employments. — The Royal Arsenal, the cable works, and the Ro3ral 
Dockyard (now used as War Department Stores) are the chief centres of 
employment. There are also a very large number of men in the building 
trades, new houses being features both of Woolwich and Plumstead, and 
there is some riverside work. For women there is very little factory work, 
only a shirt factory and a factory for lawn-tennis balls being mentioned. 
A large number of men work in the factories of North Woolwich and 
Silvertown, crossing the Thames by the Free Ferry. 

Housing: and Rents. — The general type of house in Woolwich and 
Plumstead is two-storeyed, with a frontage of 14 to 16 ft., built of yellow 
brick with slate roof, to accommodate two families. In Woolwich nouses 
are generally older than in Plumstead, and more often built in the first 
instance for one family. In spite of much building, there is great demand 
for house room ; rents have risen, and are still rising; there is very little 
crowding; the fairly comfortable artisan in this district refuses to be 
crowded. Backyards and gardens in new houses are very small; the 
tendency of the day is to depend more and more upon public open spaces 
as playgrounds. 

New houses for the class that may keep a servant were building (1900), 
and were sold as soon as built for /380 on a ninety-nine years' leafe. New 
houses for artisans, with six rooms and a washhouse, letch 145 6d, being 
a rise of 3s or 45 per week on the rents asked three years previously. In 
the ' Dust-hole ' furnished rooms are let at 55 per week, or gd per night. 

Markets. — The great shopping streets are Powis Street, Hare Street, 
Wellington Street, Plumstead Road, and Plumstead High Street. Street 
markets are held in Powis Street, Beresford Square — opposite the main 
entrance of the Arsenal, and Plumstead High Street. 


Some prices in Beresford Square.— Bread. AJ^d the quartern loaf; scrag 
of mutton. 2yi per lb., chops. 4^^ and s^d (good) ; cod and hake, ^d per lb.; 
red currants. 2d per lb., black currants. ^ per lb. . gooseberries, 2J per pint, 
cherries, tomatoes, plums, all ji per lb. (July. 1902). 

The Co-operative Society {vidt p. 97) is a great force in Woolwich and 
Plumstead. and has large shops in Fowls Street and Lakedale Koad. 

PaMlc-houses. — Public-houses and beerhouses are thickest in old 
Woolwich between the Arsenal and the Dockyard. Plumstead hat itt 
fair share of houses as far East as Griffin Road ; they are rare in the newer 
parts. Overtime and high earnings of Arsenal men. coupled with the 
constant incoming and outgoing of troops, are said to have doubled the 
income of every public-house in Woolwich during the liocr War. Tea- 
houses, with notices of 'eggs and cake.' ' winkles and watercress,' in their 
windows, are common in Wickham Lane, for the accommodation of picnic 
parties to Bostall Woods. 

Places of Amusement.— There are two theatres in Woolwich and 
a small music-hall in Plumstead. Of an evening the endless streets of 
two-storeyed houses in Plumstead are very dark and dull. 

The Arsenal football ground off the Grimn manor wav on the east side 
of the Arsenal is a place of popular resort. There is afko a tlicatre in the 

Open Spaces.— There is plenty of open space in Woolwich and 
Plumstead. On the west, there is Maryon Park (public) and Charlton 
Park (private), together with some unbuilt low ground off the west side of 
the Dockyara ; on the south are Woolwich and I'lumntead (Commons; on 
the west, the magnificent Bostall Heath and Woods belonging to the 
L.C.C., and the fen-hke Plumstead marshes; whilst on the north is the 
river, but the latter is for the most part shut in by high walls. 

Health is good on the whole. Drainage on the low ;;round north of 
Woolwich Road and Plumstead Road is difficult, and the new houiieff art 
badly built, and tenanted by a poor class ; illness, as a consequence, is 
common; but on the high ground south of the^e roatls building Is very 
fair, drainage efficient, tenants of comfortable class, and health grx^d. 

There is a narrow strip of chalk on the low ground west of the Dock- 
yard, and again in the valley west of Bostall Wood. The marshes north 
of Woolwich and Plumstead Roads are of damp clayey soil ; the high 
ipround, with the exception of some gravel on Shooter's Hill, is of pebble 
beds, sand and loam, more or less permeable to water, which changes to 
stiff London clay on a line with the southern half of Woolwich Common. 

Cliang:es of Population.— Owing to the extra work necessitated by 
the Boer War (1899- 1902), a large number of men came into the district ; 
there resulted a great demand for house room. The incomers were nearly 
all young men ; many were marriei men with increasing families. The 
expansion took place East and South towards Bostall Wood and Plumstead 
Common. In Old Woolwich some of the slums have been demolished, 
notably the courts behind the west side of Beresford Street ; a number of 
bad chiaracters from these places have moved to the blue and black streets 
ofif the east side of Woolwich Common. Each year Woolwich tends 
to become more and more entirelv working class. It is one of the few 
districts in Lx>ndon where the workman has made the sides and crests of 
steep hills his own. 

Means of Ijocomotlon*— The Soutb-Eastem Railway mot across 
the low ground at the north of the map ; the train service is so bad that 



workmen at the Arsenal hesitate to live even one station distant at Abbev 
Wood. (Vide p. 131.) Horse tramways give a slow means of communi- 
cation along Albion and Plumstead Roaos between Greenwich and the 
foot of Bostall Hill. What is wanted: — ^A quicker and more punctual 
train service; electric instead of horse trams, and new lines of trams 
running South from Woolwich Arsenal to Eltham, with branches on the 
East along Nightingale Lane and Plumstead Common Road to Wickham 
Lane, proceeding thence to East Widkham and up Shooter's Hill to 
Welling and Bexley Heath. On the West, branches are requured along 
Charlton Road and along Shooter's Hill Road and the Dover Road to 
Inner London. 


List of Parish Churches situated in the district described in 
Chapter III. (Part I.), with other Places of Worship grouped in their 
ecclesiastical parishes. 

All Saints, Shooter's Hill. 

All Saints' Miss., Herbert Rd. 
Prim. Meth. Chapel, Egling- 

ton Road. 
Bible Chris. Ch.. Herbert Rd. 

Holy Trinity, New Charlton. 

Miss, of Good Shepherd, Bettes- 
field Rd. 

Maryon Institute, East St. 

Miss. Hall (Brethren), Wool- 
wich Rd. 

Salv. Army Bar., Woolwich Rd. 

Holy Trinity, Woolwich. 

St. Saviour's Miss., Rope Yard 

Woolwich Tabernacle (Bapt.), 
Beresford St. 

Salv; Army Barracks, Beres- 
ford Rd. 

St. James, Barrage Road. 

Bapt. Ch., Conduit Rd. 

St. Andrew's Presb. Ch., An- 

glesea Rd. 
U. Meth. FreeCh., CrescentRd. 

St. James, Kidbrooke. 

St. James's Miss. House, 
Shooter's Hill. 

St. Germain's Ch., St. Ger- 
main's Place. 

Bapt. Ch., Old Dover Rd. 

St. John, North Woolwich. 

SilvertownCong.Ch., Albert Rd. 
People's Hall, Francis St. 

St. John, Woolwich. 

St. John's Miss., Ritter St. 
Carmel Bapt. Ch., Anglesea Rd. 

Presb. Ch.. New Rd. 
Gospel Hall (Brethren), Night- 
ingale Vale. 
Brethren's Hall, Anglesea Rd. 
St. Peter's (R. C), New Rd. 

St. John Baptist, Plumstead. 

Plumstead Tabernacle (Bapt.)» 
Maxey Rd. 

Prim.Meth.Chapel, GlyndonRd. 

Salv. Army Hall. Villas Rd. 

Inverness Hall (Brethren), In- 
verness Place. 

Richmond Hall (Brethren), 
Vicarage Rd. 

St. Luke, Charlton. 

St. Marg:aret, Plumstead. 

Wesl. Ch. , Plumstead Com. Rd. 
Unitarian Ch., Plumstead Com- 
mon Rd. 
Brethren'sMiss. Rm . , Plum . Lne. 

St. Mark, Plumstead. 

Union Chapel. Park Rd. 
Cage Lane Miss.. Lakedale Rd. 
Peculiar People's Ch., Brewery 

St. Mary, Woolwich. 

St. Martin's Miss., Back Lane. 
St. George's Garrison Ch., 

New Rd. 
Cong. Ch., Rectory Place. 
Welsh Cong. Ch., Parson's Hill. 
Enon Bapt. Ch., High St. 
Wesl. Ch., William St. 
Union Chapel (Prim. Meth.), 

Sun St. 



St. Michael, Blackhctli Pk. 

St. Michael*s Miss.. Blarkhrath 

Alexandra Hall (Brethren). Ben- 
nett Pk. 

Bennett Park HaU (Brethren). 
Bennett Pk. 

Oar Lady Help of Christians 
(R. C). Cresswell Park. 

St. Michael, Woolwich. 

St. Faith's Miss. Room, Mar- 
tyr's Passage. 
Cong. Miss., Lower Pdlipar Rd. 

St. Nicholas, PimnMemA. 

Cong. Ch.. Viewland Rd. 
Bapt. Ch., Station Rd. 
Wesl. Ch.. High St. 
Miss. Hall (Brethren), King's 

Plnmstead Gospd Missw, Rip- 
poison Rd. 

St. Ruil, Charitoo. 

St. Panl's Parish Room. Dela- 

field Rd. 
Snndome Miss., Swallow- 

field Rd. 

St. PmmU IHiuBstead. 

Sal%'. Army HaU. 26. High St. 
St. Patrick (R. C). Conway Ed. 

SL Thomas, Charitoo. 

Bapt. Ch., Samuel St. 

Bapt. Ch.. Sand Street. 

Charlton Vale Wesl. Ch.. Wool- 
wich Rd. 

Gospel Hall (Brethren). Pros- 
pect Place. 

The Asceosioo, f^umstead. 

Wesl. Miss.. Sutdiffe Rd. 
Slade Miss., The Slade. 



The reader will please accept the following extracts- 
from our notes as illustrations only. 

(l) Baptists at Greenwich. 

I was late in arriving at Mr. Spurgeon's church, and 
standing outside the door heard the long prayer, during 
which the doorkeeper, who stood at my side when not 
moving about his duties, made occasional pious ejacula- 
tions. The building was practically full. I was given 
a seat in the back row beside the door, and a lady who 
sat near kindly lent me her Bible in order that I might 
read the text for myself. Mr. Spurgeon makes much of 
his text, reading it through twice at the outset, and 
coming back to it again and again. It was a great one, 
from 1 Kings, chap, viii., verses 38 and 39, on prayer and 
supplication by every man, " knowing the plague of his 
own heart" — Solomon's prayer, with the great refrain, 
" Hear Thou in heaven thy dwelling place." Without 
having his father's genius, Mr. Charles Spurgeon has 
great ease, readiness and vigour, and even grace of 
language. The sermon, like the prayer, was fully long, 
being drawn out and filled with crudities, but seemed to 
give satisfaction to his people. The Thursday following 
this Sunday would be, it was announced, the twentieth 
anniversary of the day when the first sixty members met 
' in an upper room ' to inaugurate this church, and 


invited Mr. Spurgeon to be their pastor. They are now 
six hundred, but of the original sixty only seventeen 

(2) Baptists at Woolwich. 

On Sunday morning the Baptist Tabernacle at Wool- 
wich was fairly filled, there being a considerable number 
of children present for whom there was a short special 
address, as is often the case with the Baptists, Some of 
the children left at twelve o'clock and then the regfular 
sermon began. The text was from the record of David's 
death. *' David served his generation and then fell 
asleep." It was not eloquent at all, but was forcible 
and original, and absolutely without pose or affectation of 
any kind. The preacher was evidently quite at ease, and 
though undoubtedly far superior in education and power 
of thought to his audience, never spoke down to them ; 
he expected them to reach up to him. He introduced 
Napoleon and Bismarck, Cromwell and St. Francis of 
Assisi, as instances of public work, more or less or not 
at all, marred by self-seeking ambition, and seemed to 
assume that his audience were as familiar with the lives 
of these men as he himself was. He spoke of the need of 
wide sympathies in those who sought to serve their 
generation, and of the changes of hopes and aims which 
he could remember. He referred to the time when 
Science was to cure everything and supersede Religion, 
and of the Positivist ideal, and quoted from George Eliot 
a passage about beliefs : belief in God, in a future life, 
and in duty ; the last alone remaining sure. Both these 
phases had passed, and Religion remained. So, too, with 
Socialism, which also was to cure everything, and now 
only the religious side of Socialism was any good. Or 
a solution was to be found in clubs and brotherly love, 
but ask anyone what good clubs had been ! The sermon 
was entirely extempore. The pastor simply stopped 
when time was up, having evidently still plenty more 
to say. The sermon at the evening service was less 
noticeable, but ended very effectively with a story from 
the siege of Delhi. The soldiers in hospital, when the 
doctor came round, knowing that the assault was to be 
made, said : " Make us fit ; fit to fight to-morrow." The 
doctor could not do that ; but, said the preacher, we might 

^» ^ - ^ *^' l '^ ' "^ . ^^' 


(3} P,5,A. a X Ciqagv^spciBn IT 

XL miniiff 
yi i uigg. TnrTTni-^ if 
' TTOT snail 

oa Clinsts ¥^ss jz ^nroT i loxse ^rxif:! '^tttitt s 
mother Izr il cc 2 jbvsi H± s^vttix SuCMS :f 21s: 
•the old lair/ -r *rie axctic-^-.:^; Vx: 
jokes 00 ths sc£nTT, aa-rjrfnr^ 2. seruins nxr mc 
attack ta t&cse -nc Tzioer bxu :j::'ii'TS"t^i^ 
the wQcfchooae a. Trrg.Tf if -^ri^nx 

pick of the Tocs:^ PBcpie ocr cf a r^scectaiie I^rtJs boiy 
of Noooooljcmists. Ir is nrrTrrrr that ib*se toctl^ 
people shocid wcrk cp an cccbs^ra a=d cneet cc Soaday 
aftonooOv 7^^'^^^ nyn aod yocng wocsen together, bet 
it would be better diar the ether pretence shocid b< 

(4) The Brdkren. 

There are two sects : the one strict and exdusiw, the 
other open. What follows was written concerning one of 
the open chnrches. Prc^wriy speaking no leaders are recog- 
nised^ but in practise it always happens that two or thrw 
come to the front and lead the services ; xtry often it is 
only one, and the success of each chorch is largely bound 
up with the personality of one man. A service on the 
first day of the week is all that is essential- This i* 
known as ' the Assembly/ when the Brethren meet W 
• breaking of bread.' It is held in the morning, excepting 
once a month when, to suit the convenience of some, it i« 


in the evening. A loaf is broken and fragments are given 
to each. Only Church members or those vouched for by 
a member can share in this, and even when vouched for 
no man may attend many times in succession without 
joining the Church or being told he is not wanted. 
A collection is made to defray expenses. The service is 
one of worship and praise. There is no sermon. For 
music the voice only is used. In theory anyone may get 
up to pray or read a portion of the Scripture, as 3ie 
Spirit may move him ; in practice only two or three of 
the Brethren do so. Gospel meetings are held in the 
evening and sometimes in the afternoon also. The size 
•of the gathering depends on the popularity of the speaker. 

(5) A Railway Men*s Mission at Deptford. 

As I reached the door, a uniformed signal-man, bag in 
hand, came up. He was Mr. X * * * * * who, though 
not the Superintendent of the Mission, has been connected 
with it from the commencement. It was originally 
started in a private house, then moved to a small hall in 
Napier Street, and finally to the hall in Amersham 
■Grove which holds two hundred, and behind which the 
members have with their own hands erected a smaller 
hall. Including the choir and brass band there are about 
seventy workers, all voluntary. Meetings are held every 
night except Saturday. All who come are local people, 
and two-thirds are connected with the railway, all grades 
from inspectors to porters being represented, but ' not 
a station-master.' The hall is nearly filled on Sunday 
afternoon, when a children's service is held, and in the 
evening, when the meeting is for adults. On Sunday 
morning an inner circle of 'Christians' attend the 
service and they come again on Thursday evening for 
a Gospel meeting, and ' anything special ' will fill the 
hall then. Engine drivers and guards, and in a minor 
degree porters also, are subject, said our informant, to 
very great temptations. Drink is still a great evil, though 
not so bad as formerly. Cases are severely dealt with by 
the companies. Some men have been reduced and others 
dismissed. With treating and tipping ' a Christian guard 
has difficulty in keeping his integrity.* Card-playing for 
money is prevalent on some of the trains, and some guards 
facilitate it. 

THE South-east 143 

(6) A Missum ai WooJvick. 

The missioo was started twenty jrears zgo by an army 
ocdond (or the inhabitants of a groop of rongfa, poor 
streets in the very ootskirts, reaDy a village set down in 
a wfld no-man*s-land on the frontier of town life. The 
inhabitants were brickmakers, market gardeners, fruit 
pickers and gipsies. Some of these live here still, but as 
the market gardens are replaced by others fiirther ont, 
so do the workers move ; the day c^ the former gardens 
is all cot oot for bricks ; new streets are being bailt all 
ronndy and a better class of residents is coming in. The 
pec^le are labourers still, hot are employed in die building 
trade or at the ArsenaL The mission had friiled to 
attract the rough class, or if any attended the services 
it was for the sake of the charities distributed. Its sup- 
porters used to dip their hands into their pockets fi^y. 
Rough lads would come to the dub, but not to the 
services ; nor at the dub did they care to read the books 
and papers supplied, but would spend Sunday morning 
smoking and playing at * Tip it ' (a game better known, 
I think, as * Up Jenkin ') for penny stakes. So the dub 
was abandoned. 

The attendance at the mission is improving — some 
may still come only for what they hope to get, but the 
better sort are more amenable to rdigious influence, 
and the Sunday schools are becoming more popular. 
Failing to fulfil the intentions of its founders, the mission 
is gradually being turned into a church. 

(7) Views of a Congrcgationalist Minister. 

Religious feelings are changing with the times 

and the people. There is greater dififusion of the Spirit, 
but less intensity. Those who know of religion are more 
numerous and there is greater humanity in consequence ; 
more is done for sickness, for good housing, and for 
drainage. It is not done openly for the Lord, but it is 
because of the diffusion of the Lord's Spirit that it is 
done. But there is not that sternness about religious 
observance that there used to be. ' Persecution is what 
we want to give us life.' They won't now even prosecute 
for Church rates. Some places will always draw a con- 
gregation because of their historical position and interest, 
but others depend on the sermon or the music. Our 


people don't go to church (as they used to do) even in 
spite of the preacher and the service. There is a leakage 
among the voung married couples to the Established 
Church. They want variety, they want colour. It may 
be the beginning of not going anywhere. What has been 
lost in intensity may have been gained in greater 
diffusion, what is needed is something to crystalize this 
' suspended Christianity ' and give it form. But where to 
find it? He cannot even guess from what direction 
it will come. 

(8) A Voluble Preacher. 

Some efforts after popularity in a rather dead 

parish were shown at the parish hall, which stands on 
the opposite side of the street, where there appeared 
a rough announcement in coloured chalk * Mr. H * ♦ ♦ * * 

comes again Monday — ^won't you come too ? ' It 

was perhaps Mr. H * * ♦ ♦ * whose preaching I had heard 
on Sunday morning. The church was occupied by thirty 
or forty adults and a few children, listening to, or at any 
rate sitting under, a torrent of words from an Irishman in 
the pulpit. He went far faster than his audience could 
follow, and I in my place at the back could only catch 
a word or a phrase here and there. I did not know that 
the English language could be spoken so fast. It was 
hardly to be accounted eloquence, but was just earnest 
impetuosity poured forth in every-day language. 

(9) A scandalous difficulty {Church of England). 

The vicar is still alive, but the living has been 

in sequestration for sixteen years for the payment of his 
debts. This will be finally accomplished shortly, and 
then he can come back, and probably will do so, and 
make new ones. Meanwhile, according to occasional 
paragraphs in provincial papers, he continues his 
swindling operations. 



(i) Saturday Night at Woolwich {May zyth, 1900). 

From Shooter's Hill on bicycle at 10 p.m.: all dark 
and quiet till New Road was reached ; there the crowd 
began. Many soldiers in uniform, shops all open, and 
booths on west side of street leading to the market-place. 
Men, women, and children all good-humoured and well 
dressed, out for marketing and to see the fun or for 
a promenade simply ; and all young. Children, from babies 
in arms to ten years old, husbands and wives and fathers 
and mothers, between twenty and thirty-five; hardly a 
grey hair or an old face among them all. A few soldiers^ 
almost tipsy, at the corner of the New Road and Thomas 
Street, a small crowd watching them and listening to 
the nigger minstrels playing outside the public-house. 
In the market itself there was greater seriousness. 
Most were coming away with their purchases in large 
paper parcels, but a good number were still buying, 
and the market-place was full. The man never carried 
the parcels, except where the woman had a child in her 
arms, and not always then. The men, in caps and 
bowler hats, wore collars, and a few had black coats. 
The women in bonnets and cloaks, not quite in their best, 
but, like the men, evidently dressed for the occasion. 
Two or three labourers in their working clothes were 
the exceptions. Chief interest centred round the 
butchers* stalls, but some were doing a good business 
in flowers and bedding-out plants. From the market the 
flow of the crowd was towards Powis and Hare Streets, 
where the best shops are for drapery, grocery, cheese and 
fruit. Fair strawberries were selling at 8d a pound, good 
cherries at 6d. The crowd was good-tempered and sober, 
and out more for promenade than business. Such busi- 
ness as was done was inside the shops. Boot and shoe 
shops were best lighted and made the best show ; after 
them came the public-houses. 

Thence to the streets which comprise the * Dust-hole.* 
I found them quiet and dark, there seemed to be few 
people in the common lodging-house kitchens, and not 
many in the beer-house. Most doors were open ; smell 
of dirt in the air, dark filthy stains on the pavement 
V 10 


on either side, and a man asleep, drunk. Figures 

emerged suddenly from dark comers and disappeared 

again as mysteriously as they had come. The first and 

most obvious way of improving these streets would be to 

light them better. Returned shortly after closing time 

(f .#. 12.10). There was then more life in the streets ; the 

occupants of the public-houses had just been turned out. 

They stood in groups round the open doors. There was 

no quarrelling — no noise. Occasionally a voice would 

rise, but it never went so far as a row. 

In the market everyone was packing up and going off with 

barrows and pony carts. One joint, which had been 6d, 

was now offered at 3d per lb. The last pieces were being 

sold ofiF. Only the poorest were buying now. Then back 

past the barracks, seeing a good number of soldiers who 

could only just walk. So on past the Common to 

Shooter's Hill, where^ in a small patch of wood, was 

a nightingale singing loudly and being answered by 

another in the Crown Woods on the south side of the 

hill. It is thanks to the execrable train service that 

nightingales still sing, and pheasants are still preserved, 

and the bluebells carpet the woods within twelve miles of 

St. Paul's. 

# # # # # 

During the evening I had looked in at the music-hall 
in Beresford Street, Woolwich, and found the last piece 
on. It was a set piece, called " Drummed Out," and 
made the tenth and final turn of an ordinary music-hall 

Erogramme. The scene showed part of Woolwich 
arracks, and the acting consisted of ordinary military 
duties — sentry, changing guard, parade, &c.^ — per- 
formed on the stage, varied with comic figures, such as 
the regimental cook and the Irish grandmother of 
a drummer boy, whose catch-words were well known, 
and were shouted at them by boys in the pit as soon as 
each actor appeared, the actors chaffing back from the 
stage. The theatre was crammed with an audience of 
about two thousand, of whom not twelve were in uniform, 
and hardly fifty were women. The whole of the pit-floor 
to the orchestra was occupied by boys and youths from 
fourteen to eighteen, and the average age must have been 
well below twenty-five. All quiet and orderly, washed 
and brushed and dressed for the occasion. 


DaU of the Inquiry in this district : 1900 

10 • 





Passing now from furthest East to furthest] West, we 
start at Nine Elms. 

The sketch map of the South- West, which I submit 
herewith, shows a district bounded by the river and 
intersected in every direction by railway lines. It 
includes the great open spaces ot Battersea Park and 
Clapham Common, and ends both to South and West 
in open fields. It is a district of rapid and recent 
changes ; of wholesale and, I think, for the most part, 
wholesome migrations of population. There are here, 
side by side, the newly prosperous with the old 
wealthy conditions of life ; new, as well as old poverty ; 
new, as well as old slums ; while, pervading all and 
spreading everywhere in its thousands, is the ordinary 
London working-class population, which must, after 
all, claim our greatest concern. 

The largeness of the main issues involved in this 
* study of a city in motion,' and other considerations, 
of which a fear of wearying my readers is not the least, 
will cause me to omit many details which might in 
themselves be worthy of notice, and to content myself 
with a rather rapid review of the religious influences 
at work. I shall ask the reader to follow me from 


parish to parish, but only to note what is peculiar or 
remarkable, or illustrative of the larger view which in 
this way I hope gradually to develop. 

The black and blue colony of Nine Elms, in the 
right-hand corner of the map, is being, bit by bit, 
destroyed by the encroachments of the gas works and 
the railway, and what remains is being beneficially 
affected through pressure brought to bear by the 
local authorities in regard to overcrowding. The 
people are gradually going. We shall find some of 
them again further on. 

It is an area of very degraded poverty, and shows 
little or no improvement except as regards the numbers 
concerned. As one of the clergy says, there is, 
perhaps, * nothing for it but scattering,' but if the 
authorities allow it to remain till that happens, it will 
probably end by being entirely absorbed for railway or 
gas works extensions. The curate-in-charge thinks 
his people not so black as they are painted. He 
speaks of general slackness and lack of vitality among 
the children ; but also tells us of windows broken by 
boys, unruly with high spirits ; and our own report 
says that, though dirty, the children looked fairly well 
fed. A considerable proportion of the residents are 
Irish Roman Catholics, and, so far as he is concerned, 
the priest gives them a good word for independence ; 
they do not beg much. He also says that serious 
crime among them is rare. 

Here is the description of this spot taken from our 
own notes : * The houses are two storey and flush 
with the pavement, with no backs to speak of. The 
streets, with the exception of a bit here and a bit there, 
all show the usual signs of squalor in an exaggerated 
form: broken windows, filthy cracked plaster, dirty 
r^rged children, and drink-sodden women. Several 
ot the children were without shoes and stockings, one 


girl of about five with nothing on but a shirt (it was 
summer), and the police say that it is quite common 
to see the small children running about stark naked* 
The place is almost completely isolated. In hot 
weather the people often bring out mattresses and 
sleep in the open, for the houses swarm with vermin.' 

Many of the inhabitants are old residents. ScMne 
families have been here ever since the streets were 
made, thirty or forty years ago. Engaged on the 
ndlway or at the gas works, many of the men, though 
perhaps irr^ularly employed, earn good wages ; others 
are costermongers of die unsatisfactory class who take 
to street selling as a last resource. Destitution, when 
it occurs, is usually the result of drink. 

Mrs. Despard, a very noble-minded Roman Catholic 
lady, gives her life to these people, and especially to the 
young amongst them ; and the people recognise her 
self-devotion. The boys* club she has made her 
home : or, perhaps, one might better say, her home is 
their club. She does not find them unmanageable. 
They submit readily to her gende force. ^You hurt 
me,' cried a big strong fellow, but he did not resist 
when she took him by the arm in the cause of order. 
She laments the stunted growth of the lads and the 
early age at which they become their own masters. 
They are allowed to smoke in the club ; it might be 
better for their growth that they should not, but they 
will have their * fags,' and it is felt that to forbid smoking 
would be unwise. There is a Sunday ^conference,* 
which, although religion has to be run lighdy, is in fact 
a Bible-class. In truth the work is ostensibly more 
social than religious in character, and there is no trace 
of the propagandist spirit, for, though herself a recent 
convert, Mrs. Despard never proselytises, and the 
representative of the Church of England himself says 
that if some do adopt her religion it is from admiration 
of her character. 


As the boys become men, the problem of * after' 
presses upon her. She is something like the possessor 
•of a pet kmb who wonders what is to be done with it 
when it is a sheep. Is there nothing but the butcher ? 
In the case of the club, must the connection be broken 
and dispersion inevitably come ? Probably it will 
•come natiu-ally, and the club continue to deal with 
successive generations of boys, passing in and, in 
due time, passing out again, as at a school. But the 
result is not all that could be wished. 

In the adjacent parish of St. Anne (Vauxhall),' this 
lady has another club, of better class, not so recently 
started, which includes older members, and into it she 
hoped to be able to draft the boys from Nine Elms 
when they became men ; but she finds the difference 
in class too great. Her rough boys can come to the 
other club for gymnasium practice, and its members 
will * help,' but that is all that can be done by the one 
club for the other. 

For serious crime Mrs. Despard gives the district 
a clean bill. Drink and gambling are the local 
vices, and the quarrelling and violence apt to follow 
excessive drinking make up, she says, the greater part 
of the indictment that could be brought ; although 
we hear once more of the curse of Moaning.' Some 
of the worst harpies are women who make it their 
business to tempt others, generally younger than 
themselves, first to drink and then to borrow. 

For the girls of this neighbourhood there is a club, 
not actually in Nine Elms, but near by in New Road, 
carried on in a room hired from the vicar of the 
parish, but it is not connected with the church, nor 
is any religious work attempted. All the girls have 
attended Sunday schools, but most of them confess 
that *they chuck religion when they go to work.' 
They are of the poorest class and are visited in their 
homes, but excepting some help towards holiday money 


nothing is ever given or run ml . The Issss of tke 
work of this dub is simple fiioidsfaip. 

In the two parishes lying to the soatfa-west of Nine 
Elms the religious bodies work mainhr as inwsinfis and 
it is very difficult to measure tfaea- sucrr^s^ Akiaougii 
preaching was the frru of the oki vkar (who has 
lately left), the congr^ations in St. Andrew^s Qmrdh 
were never laige, and the people seem to hare 
been as indiffiaient to the altnr-ProtEStant d utiiliio 
inculcated as they certainly are to the Romisfa prin- 
ciples and practices they heard denounced. By one 
means or another, induding out-of-door pcrarh:ng, afl, 
it is ssdd, were touched, but with small results. The 
Primitive Methodists have a little chapd sparsely 
attended, and do what they can, but they have to 
bring in workers fix>m outride. The neighbouring 
population, their minister ss^rs, show a general lack of 
interest though much is done to make the serrkes 
popular. ^ For Watchnight they will crowd in hondredi^ 
some having drunk more fredy than is good fer them/ 
but they ^ sober down after being set to stng old hymns 
to familiar tunes/ Thus they know the hynua ; fo 
much at least religious training has done fer them. 

The most successful work in this distnct h that of 
a Presbyterian mission churdu He who (or 6f(ccn 
years has had charge here, left a prosperous cause 
elsewhere to come to an almost emp^ hall, hthcving 
it to be the Lord*s will that he should do to. His 
workers, too, are drawn from outride ; coming m^/^ 
from the Trinity Presbyterian Church, Oapham lO/ad ; 
but eight of his viritors are working people Ihrinjr in 
the neighbourhood. The viriting is systematic. iThe 
social agendes, which he terms their Mnng-groundf 
are of the temperance kind. The whole woo: zppeui^ 
to be solid and to result in the building up ff( a 
Church. The success here appears to be hx^Ay due 
to the interest aroused bv w<j] Dreoared %crtnonM^ 


which, it is said, cause those who come once to come 
again. But it is manifest that this remark applies to 
a picked selection rather than the mass. The mission 
is mainly financed from its parent church. 

The general movement or population in this neigh- 
bourhood seems to be exhausted ; and the people 
have apparently found their level, since those who 
leave one street are apt to turn up in the next. 
It is claimed that the district as a whole is less rough, 
and it is mentioned as a sign of progress that almost 
all the men have two suits of clothes. 



Near Battersea Park, too, and largely owing to the 
park itself, we hear that * further decay is arrested.* 
Overlooking this beautiful playground of the South- 
West, * flats * have been erected during the last few 
years, the occupants of which are semi-fashionable 
people, most of whom, so far as they attend any place 
of worship at all, incline chiefly to High Church, help- 
ing to fill All Saints* ; but from the same flats come 
some of the best workers at St. Saviour's, which is 
Evangelical. Both churches, however, complain that 
* flat ' dwellers as a class are of little use in Church 
work, are diflficult to deal with, and moreover some- 
times of doubtful reputation. At All Saints' the 
visiting is largely in the hands of four ladies, who 
reside at the Church House. Both churches draw 
some assistance from the West End. Outside of the 
Church services, most of the work undertaken from 
St. Saviour's is under lay management and due to lay 
initiative. It seems to be particularly well done. It 


is complained that a portioD of die area hlsMd 
the park and Battersea Park Raad,bc!^ fiil^ 
attached to the modier parisii of Sc MarjX s 
a no-man's-land parociixallT. 

The Roman Catholirs hGrc, bsrd yjcklag 
manned, gather a wcekir aigi4<*e of 
hundred — roughljr ooe-tiiird of tSrir 
the Sunday Masses at the QtsTdi of Osir Lje^ of 
Mount CarmeL The Bap6st%^ tkov^ foe "Att tiiriinrag 
lacking a minister, hare kept ingrnirr a lK?e aad 
active congr^ation at their tabcmadc^ aaod vxnt ITssQcd 
Methodists have here two ssall i2iuiiijt.f laoktA 
together* The pastor si^ that his issaar beead of 
workers — ^wage-earning £o6l^ znd m n df uHimMJ^ 

are almost too keen ; that tfa^ wear tJwmm f ic» oss; 
doing all the work and Badmg the mooejr afox la 
spite of the devotion shown the u aa giggjS Mgg arr 
small and rather decreasiiig in nnsdxrfw 

South of the Battertra Park Rood t^ piMunu^ of 
the park loses its effixt. As £r as dr rsiSwzr ijbe 
streets are poor and the people pnc5a£&r sscctViiOKsd 
by Church, Chapel or Mimmsm, TTbotc w^ tao: aiBbrj 
it move southwsffd, and their pfacn art tidbesD vr ^jne 
of the poor di^ilaoed from Chrkra, Tie yjr^sy h 
not intense, but is aD-perradin^ Ose of iSae sqcmo^ois 
in this unpromisii^ distrkt ffire$dbe» ciget its ^ir-At ^k^ 
and wide in its care for c ripp ic i dfcii«3^ ^o'y art 
sought anywhere, from VanxittD so VvKocf^ laoti m fmr 
to the South as London c3CXeoi^:> roaasj la?&^ 'X^Ri- 
nected with various cfaapds and nmiBMis nAy^ ^^ ^ 
work. Loamy the misfion a»accnsnrte% rada^r <^ ^ 
gipsy encampments, of iHudi there are a xtuffsAf^ m 
3ie neighbourhood. These people^ £y^ :n tw^ ram, 
come and go, travdfing in the c^^umrj jart </ J^^ 
yesuTy and so form here a stream W5th:n a t^r«am- 7 ^My 
move about a good deal within dit lyjfi^/r* *^f* *♦ 
well as outside, but are usuaUy andKXid <aH aJI i«^>^*<^. 


and throughout the summer one or another always 
occupies the pitch. They are thus in a sense, 
permanent. They are married in the parish church 
and bring their children to be baptized; some are said 
to be well-to-do. Some of them like the missionary's 
visits ; others not. 

South of the railway a really remarkable effort has 
been made to establish permanently satisfectory con- 
ditions. The attempt is not the work of the Churches, 
though they benefit by it; nor due to the vigour of 
Local Government, though that has helped. It is due 
rather to the policy and management of two large 
estates : the Shaftesbury Park Estate, belonging to the 
Artisan Dwellings' Company, and that held by Lord 
Battersea and the Flower Trustees. A kind of social 
fortress has been built, which after taking advantage of 
the movement of population to fill the houses with 
a certain class, seeks to withstand further movement, 
and so arrest decay. The rules of the Shaftesbury 
Park Estate as to sub-letting, &c., are strict ; every- 
thing is done to maintain order and respectability. 
There is no licensed house, nor is there any church ; 
neither God nor Devil, as it is said, admitted on the 
premises. In the centre of this block of streets is 
a great Board school ; but the churches and public- 
houses stand outside. The rents have been raised 
a good deal since the start, but, nevertheless, there is 
a huge waiting list of those desiring to take houses. 

The Flower Estates are managed on similar lines 
with the same aims, and though the tenants tend as 
time goes on to become slightly poorer, consequent on 
outward drift to the new houses that are being built 
near Clapham Common, these objects have in great 
measure been attained. The streets are trim, the 
houses attractive, and the people who live in them are 
representative of the upper-grade artisan and lower- 
grade salaried classes. Between these two classes there 


is no longer any marked social distinction, its place 
being taken by cleavages of opinion, and as these 
necessarily unite as well as separate, they tend to break 
down the remains of class difference. Under such 
conditions the Churches can reap advantage. The 
common aim, that of respectability, is not a high one, 
but it helps the work of the religious bodies very 

Wedged in between Shaftesbury Park and the 
Flower Estates, lies a district, known locally as the 
Beaufoy Estate, which ecclesiastically is the mission 
district of St. Bartholomew. In it the houses are of 
the same type, but are not so well built or so well 
cared for, and the people are poorer and more crowded. 
There has been a gradual decay, but the continuation 
of one of its main streets into Shaftesbury Park seems 
to have arrested this. Besides the central Board school, 
this block has its mission church. 

Amongst the respectable residents on these estates 
there is still much indifference to religion, but it is not 
flaunted. It is rather the correct thing to attend 
a place of worship, and neither chaff nor ridicule ensues 
from so doing. If there is hostility, it is rather 
between rival sects ; if contempt is expressed, it reflects 
some bias towards, not against, religion, as, for example, 
when Low Church people or Protestant Dissenters 
speak of a High Church as * that Romish place.' The 
general attitude as to religion compares, we are told, 
Lvourably with that of any West-End parish, though 
this, it is explained, is * not a high standard.' 

The * Romish place ' referred to in this case is the 
Church of the Ascension which, at first a church 
without a parish, has been allotted a district which 
includes the whole of the Shaftesbury Park Estate, and 
has had a great success ; the huge red building, with 
rounded end, like the stern of a man-of-war, and a 
solemn interior set out with rush-seated chairs, being 


filled with kneeling worshippers. It is claimed that those 
who come are mainly parishioners, or at any rate are 
from the district. They are of all ages, men, women, 
and children, and the proportion of men is large. 
Systematic visiting and definite teaching are said to be 
the secrets of success. *You must go to them, not 
expect them to come to you ; * and, * Either extreme 
wins adherents ; it is the whitey-brown who fail.' 

There is probably something more than this ; some 
personal element ; some gift of organization, as well as 
of the Spirit — ^but of the success attained there can be 
no doubt. On Sunday afternoons the children attend 
successive services in relays according to age, and it 
is a pretty sight to see the muster of the second set in 
the side streets, marshalled there to await the exit of 
the smaller fry. They are well-dressed children all. 
Neither in the congregation nor amongst the children 
is there any apparent poverty, but nevertheless a good 
deal of relief is given : * no sick case is ever neglected.* 

The other extreme of religious doctrine and practice 
is represented here best by the Wesleyans, who have 
a very successful cause in Queen's Road, and I do 
not doubt that, though they may not wish it, these 
churches help each other greatly through the stimulus 
that opposing tenets give. Like the other, this church 
^ caught on from the first ; * but its connection is 
mainly one of * continuity ; * consisting, that is, of 
people brought up as Methodists and not drawn to any 
great extent from outside, unless it be from other 
Nonconformist bodies. The building looks full on 
Sunday night, and to whoever may occupy the pulpit, 
* it is an inspiring sight to see the people rise.* The 
members of the congregation are fervent and active in 
the service of the church, and give very liberally to 
its objects. Among those who attend the services 
there are no signs or poverty. 

These churches both draw partly from the streets to 


the south, in this way retaining some, while losing 
others, of those who move away. The Wesleyans have 
been prompt to follow the movement and growth of 
population by erecting a new and very handsome 
church near Clapham Common, to which I shall refer 
later. If some leave, others come, and although the 
new building fills, the old one does not empty. 

That no serious social changes are involved in the 
flow of population here is shown also in the case of 
the Primitive Methodists, who manage to maintain 
their numbers, although they complain that it is * like 
preaching to a procession.* Their chapel is almost 
under the shadow of the Ascension Church, but in 
spirit they are * as far asunder as the poles.* Thus 
they are not of the * whitey-brown * order. But, it 
must be said, neither are they very successful. They 
lack fashion, which seems to play a considerable part 
in all churchgoing, and are burthened with a heavy 
and depressing debt. 



Before following the population southward I must 
first speak of the older parishes which skirt the river 
bank, and show how, as so often, * poverty clings to 
the water.* 

The parish of St. Mary, Battersea, once stretched 
ftom Battersea Bridge to the further side of Clapham 
Common, and, curiously enough, still includes these 
extremes, though half a dozen new parishes have been 
formed between. For the Battersea portion of the 
parish, there is the old church by the river and the 
new church by Battersea Park, both bearing the name of 
St. Mary. The third church, St. Luke's, near Clapham 



Common, we shall refer to later. The whole work 
is inspired by the broad, genial, kindly spirit of the 
rector, who has held his office for twenty-eight years. 
His sympathies are wide, and those who work under 
him are of various shades of churchmanship from not 
very High to not very Low. 

All that remains of ancient Battersea clusters 
round the old parish church, which is beautifully 
placed, overlooking the river where it bends south- 
ward. The courts and alleys of the old village can 
be traced, but the greatest poverty and degradation 
are not to be found among them. For these we 
must look on either side. There is one black spot in 
particular (Orville Road) with a class of inhabitants 
upon whom ' deaconesses indeed may practise,' 
but upon whom no impression can be made. It is 
a street of three-storeyed houses, showing all the usual 
signs of squalor. Turning sharply at right angles to 
itself, it forms an elbow, and the railway upon which it 
backs provides a means of escape when needed. In 
it congregate criminals and street-gamblers. Pickets 
are placed at each end to give warning of the approach 
of strangers. Of these people the remark of the police 
is, 'You've got Seven Dials there.' If the girls join 
clubs they must be provided for on special nights, 
as others will not mix with them. Structurally there 
is nothing wrong about the houses, though they are 
unduly crowded on the ground, but morally the place 
is a plague-spot which shows no improvement. If any 
decent people come there, It is because, having many 
children, they despair of finding other quarters, and 
the only thing to be done is to try to get them 
away again, although under increased difficulties, 
because of the bad name given to anyone coming 
from a street of this character. A small group of courts 
by Europa Place which were equally bad have been 
improved. They were entered under an archway, and 


formed a cul-^sac^ but have been opened up, and 
though still low, no longer deserve or retain the 
sobriquet of * Little HeU,* which thejr formerly 
enjoyed. Cranfield Street and Parkham Street are 
remarkable instances of a complete change for the 
better effected without more reconstruction dian is 
involved in *doing-up* the houses, solely by the 
determination of the landlord that it should be so, he 
(like Hercules) having taken advantage of the stream 
to let in the new and dean, and so sweep out the old 
and foul. The old and foul float onwards and we 
shall meet with them again, but in this instance some 
of the old tenants seem to have clung to the spot, 
finding ref\ige hard by in Surrey Lane, where there 
are several low common lodging-houses. 

At neither of the churches of St. Mary do large 
numbers attend. The original church has an old parish 
congregation and a service to match. At St. Mary le 
Park the ritual is High, though ^not so High as at 
All Saints.* This church, when completed, should be 
one of the finest and biggest in South London* 
Daily services are maintained both morning and 
evening. * Sometimes one person comes ; more often 
no one. If more than one it would be a red-letter 
day.* At the early celebration on Thursday there 
may be five or six. But at both churches the number 
of recognised communicants is large, especially so 
at the old church, and the parish organizations are 
active and successful. Of these the girls' clubs are 
the most noticeable. They do to some extent feed 
the congregations, which the men's dubs do not. 
There are large dav schools, guilds senior and junior, 
church lads* brigades, very large bands of hope and 
several mothers* meetings. The poor who ask for 
charity are not expected to respond by coming to 
church, and in point of feet they never do. 

Although the girls* clubs have a distincdy religious 

V II * 


basis, being closed nightly with prayers and hymnS, 
they are managed on broad non-puritanical lines with 
plenty of dancing and music. The members work in 
the riverside factories, and seem to vary in class according 
to the nature of their employments or the character of 
the employers. Social distinctions must be carefully 
considered in all the club arrangements. The good 
influence exerted may be traced in many ways apart from 
churchgoing, especially in dress and, it is to be hoped, 
in morals. Drinking and betting are recognised evils 
affecting the lives of these girls ; the betting touts 
even waiting to take up their money outside the dub 
door. They spend what they have in these ways rather 
than on food, and often suffer from under-feeding. 

The success of the Church, though not very great, 
is the best that religion has to show in this district. 
The Roman Catholics are a small and scattered body, 
and the Nonconformist Churches are weakened by 
the southward movement of their supporters and 
the incoming of the dwellers in flats, who, whatever 
they may be, are not chapel-goers. They are described 
to us as ' retired army officers, young married couples, 
barristers, actors, actresses, and what the police call 
"queer characters." ' Take them all in all they are no 
worse, perhaps, than others, but probably more mixed 
and certainly less domestic. They are difficult to visit 
from the Church point of view, but the clergy again 
say that from amongst them come some of their best 

While the main stream of life and prosperity sets 
due South, the scum and wreckage carried with it, 
are thrown off upon its western edge. This wreckage 
may be traced all along the bank of the Thames and 
up the valley of the Wandle, and does much to 
aggravate the evil conditions found in a whole string 
of parishes. St. Stephen's, Christ Church, the Caius 
College Mission, St. Peter's and St. John's are all 



afiected by it, and are all unsadsfactonr. Sat oolf are 
the mass of the people indificrent and irrespooshrc^ 
and materialistic to a high degree^ but the ifwiwnin g 
population makes for dcgrvhtioo ; not oolf does 
religion evoke hardly any r espon se , but its uiiutUen 
are conscious that the conditions of life are daify' 
growing worse : for lack of religion, thejr wDuld nj^ 
but that is not so sure. At any fate, it does not toDam 
that blame for the present state of thii^ fics with 
the religious bodies, aldioogh it is the net that the 
Church clergy strive in vain to infuse rel^^ous feel- 
ing and that the Nonconfermists succeed no better* 
* Apathy, utter apathy ; * * Pec^^ crowd in for concerts, 
but will not come to religious meetings ; * ^ Worktflg 
men given up to social problems ; ' ^ Ministers of 
religion distrusted because paid,* and so on. We hare 
heard it all before, but nowhere with such a tone 
of depression and despondency; and the reason b 
plain. It is because, coufJed with this indiffirrence, 
there is palpable social deterioration. Clerzf and 
ministers work hard, but there is terribty fittie to .how 
for it. No wonder they are disheartened. The best 
hope is expressed by a Baptist minister working in 
one of these parishes who, while admitting how few 
the visible results are, cannot but believe that so 
much effort musi tell : ^ There is a militant 9pmt ; 
everywhere there are bands of earnest workers ; the 
influence musf be felt;* and he even ventures to 
aver that on the whole the signs are hopeful ; but 
evidently his faith is sorely tried. He speaks of 
being ^ in the darkest age ; ' and of the people as 
^difficult and stubborn/ 

All tell of decadence. A Citv missionaiy, who has 
lived and worked in the neighoourhood tor twentv- 
seven years, says that the district is changing for 
the worse, and that the decline has been most rapid 
in the last ten years. Houses built for one family 


have HOW one on each floor, or sometimes two, 
the inhabitants are more migratory. Visiting regu- 
larly from house to house he sees the change. 
Results of his work, he says, can be traced at times, 
but, he adds : ' The people are like an indiarubber 
ball. You make an impression while you have your 
thumb on it. Take the pressure away and, like 
the ball, they are back again where they were.' 
'Tendency throughout to a lower level ;' 'Becomes 
poorer and rougher;' 'The better streets are deteriorat- 
ing;' 'The district is changing rapidly.' Such are 
the opinions of men well qualified to speak from 
knowledge even wider than that of clergy, ministers, 
or missionaries, and our own survey confirms the 
view that the district has certainly deteriorated both 
morally and materially. The picture painted by the 
police is the darkest of all, but in it perhaps the black 
was laid on too indiscriminately, though no doubt there 
is much that is rough and troublesome. What struck 
us rather was the more than usual mixture of the 
respectable and the squalid, 

We have met elsewhere with more crime and more 
drunken violence, with more degraded poverty, more 
insanitary conditions and more wretched homes than 
are to be found here. The apathy and indifference 
of the working classes towards religion is nothing 
new, nor is there anything novel about the incoming 
of a low class driven out by demolitions in other 
parts. The ingredients are all familiar ; it is their 
combination that is different, and productive of an 
effect on the imagination even beyond the actual 
badness of the mixture itself. Elsewhere rampant 
evil has usually been strictly localized and shown 
to be decreasing in extent, or where in some parti- 
cular area it is increasing, the increase is attributable 
to some special cause. Elsewhere the movement of 
population has brought about general improvement ■>*■ 

lent »■ u 



a district may have fallen, but the incoming popula- 
tion has benefited. The middle class may have gone 
and the churches and chapels be empty, but those who 
have come have belonged to a lower middle and 
working class, rising into respectability and yielding at 
every advance a larger proportion of those who admit 
the claims of religion. There has, in fact, been levelling 
up as well as levelling down. But here none of these 
consoling reflections are pertinent. Here for the first 
time we seem to have a population in which every 
element is deteriorating, and it is this I think that 
makes the work so dismal, and all that is done appear 
so ineffective. 

It is difficult to state a theory of this kind without 
exaggeration. It is only an aspect of things, but an 
aspect may go for much. From it there results, or 
seems to result, a quite peculiar frankness, almost 
brutality, of expression on the part of those who give 
their lives to Christian work among the people. The 
extracts I shall give from the views of two deaconesses 
will show this. The very phrase * practising ground 
for deaconesses,' which has already been quoted, 
indicates what I mean. It is a rather terrible concep- 
tion. When I heard the expression first it was used by 
one of the kindest of men ; it turned up again in the 
evidence of one of the kindest of women ; and it has 
reappeared more than once in our notes of evidence 
from this neighbourhood. Its use is perhaps only 
"professional ' in its apparent callousness, the Diocesan 
Deaconesses Home being in this district, and it may 
not mean so much as I have imported into it. It 
certainly does not involve any reflection on the 
devotedness of these ladies to the people they seek 
to serve. 

Of the one hundred and sixty women who belong 
to the mothers' meeting, managed by one of these 
ladies, fifty or sixty attend each week, some coming one 


week and some another. The women buy dress' 
materials or old clothing. They bring their babies and 
sit and chat. They do not come to work especially. 
They have a cup of tea and the deaconess reads or 
talks to them. The meeting ends with prayer and 
hymn, and perhaps a short religious address. Such 
are the ordinary lines of mothers' meeting work. 

At first the deaconess refused to have at her meetings 
any who were living with a man to whom they were not 
married. By turning out some she hoped to improve 
the tone of the rest. But the rest, though themselves 
married, were just the same as to tone, and the chief 
effect of her rule was that she began to learn less of 
their lives, being no longer confided in. Previous 
relations, in anticipation of marriage, she says, are the 
rule in the parish. Nobody thinks this immoral, and 
her own disapproval is looked upon as an amiable 
weakness. None of the women credit her with really 
strong feelings on the subject. She cannot say that 
morals are better or worse than they used to be ; only 
before she was ignorant, now she knows. Marriages 
take place after, or not long before, the birth of the first 
child. The Church is known to regard pre-marital 
relations as sinful, and this discourages weddings in 
church. There has been a greatly increased resort to 
the Registry office, which involves 'so much less 
fuss,' it is said. It is also partly a question of clothes, 
a marriage in church demanding by custom suitable 

As to drink among women, this witness is no less 
outspoken ; the habit is increasing. Everyone wants 
more excitement nowadays. On Mondays and 
Tuesdays the public-houses the women affect are full. 
' It is the married ones mosdy who go, and they 
drink both alone and in company. Young women may 
on occasion take too much, but seldom or never soak. 
They would much rather suck sweets than drink. The 



craving for sweets passes away and is succeeded by the 
craving for intoxicants, the one being a direct con- 
sequence of the other.* All this sounas very calm and 
cool, but such is the horror that the thought of the 
public-house inspires in the mind of our Deaconess, 
that she has to summon all her courage if obliged to 
enter one. Among men she notices litde if any change 
in the matter of drink. There is in her parish an 
^ adult temperance guild which is a staid afiair of old 
fogeys.* The band of hope flourishes, but nothing will 
keep the children in it after they have left school. 

The men are always most polite to the Deaconesses, 
or if rude when in drink, will come and apologise next 
morning. If it is necessary to deal with a drunken 
man these ladies do not hesitate to act sharply. A man 
who had ruined himself by drink lay in a swinish state 
on the bed ; beyond him almost naked lay his 
daughter : * Get up you beast,* the Deaconess said, and 
gave him a smart blow across the cheek. He struggled 
up and went into the next room, and the girl was 
carried oflT to a new home. Her sister also has been 
rescued, but the brothers have proved irreclaimable. 
Such are the incidents of the work carried on, we may 
fairly suppose, among people who fell somewhat below 
the average of the population. 

There is, it is said, no feeling against religion ; but 
the work of the Churches, Established and Noncon- 
formist alike, is recognised to be a feilure on the spiritual 
side. Ordinary district-visiting often, it is admitted, 
comes to little more than the leaving of a magazine. 
The work of the deaconesses is thorough, but * they don't 
get the people to church more than one here and there.* 
* Church-going,' it is explained, * entails incessant perse- 
cution ; ' * to walk with God means something.* The 
case is mentioned of a woman who used to veil her 
purpose by carrying a beer jug with her and leaving it 
at a friend's house on the way to church. Collecting 


banks are found to be by far the best lever for obtaining i 
access to the houses and remaining in touch with the 
people. One of these ladies, with the help of thirty 
volunteer visitors, collects as much as ^f looo a year 
from about fifteen hundred persons. The money 
is drawn out and spent, as a rule well, at the end 
of the year, and is then regarded almost as a bonus : 
'Look at that carpet which I got from your club,' 
said one contributor. The money is collected on 
Monday or Tuesday ; it is useless to go any later 
in the week. The collecting visits are liked, and of 
her visitors fully half are themselves working women. 

On the subject of charitable relief this lady says she 
wishes that people who give without inquiry could 
realize the harm done to character and to religion by 
indiscriminate giving. 

In spite of all discouragement the Churches arc 
working hard. Their organizations seem to be even 
more than ordinarily complete. The Nonconformists 
are less prominent. In addition to the Baptist Taber- 
nacle already mentioned there is a small community of 
the Strict order in the adjoining parish ; but the 
members mostly live elsewhere, and their pastor knows 
the neighbourhood only by reputation. The members 
would like to branch out into social work in order to 
touch the surrounding people, but * All are fiilly 
employed in the day,' and, he adds, 'in the evening 
our young people take the advantages the Polytechnic 
offers.' Words which seem like the opening of a door 
into a different world from that we have been 

There is also, within the district we are reviewing, 
a small church of the Brethren. It consists (said our 
informant, a master baker) simply of a few like-minded 
men who meet together to read their Bibles, and for 
worship, and for the breaking of bread, as is the 



custom in their community. Regret was expressed 
and distress felt at the condition of the Churches, and 
especially at their lack of unity, which is regarded as 
the result of not yielding the human wiU to the 
governance of Christ, and as a proof that they are not of 
God. And as even their own litde body has split into 
half a dozen sections, the outlook is indeed dismal. 
To them the visible Church, spiritually poor, is in the 
condition of the one depicted in Revelation, rich and 
increased with goods, whereas Christ saw her poor and 

However, each church and chapel, and each little 
community, finds some who care ; some whose souls 
are touched ; and the stronger the claim made the 
more certain the response. For any who have faith 
enough to sink their shaft, the spiritual waters spring ; 
and amongst these we count here the Pentecostal 
League at Speke Hall. One of the Deaconesses spoke 
of their work kindly, without a trace of jealousy. She 
objects to the excitement roused, but some of her own 
people 'have found the services helpful," and it cannot 
be denied that crowds of earnest-minded people are 
attracted. The effort and its primary success were 
undoubtedly conditioned on the generally unsatisfactory 
state of things, moral, social and religious, that has been 
described, but it does not necessarily follow that the 
meetings at Speke Hall and the kind of stimulus which 
they afford act in the direction of improvement. 

The story is this : A man who had passed through 
atheism and agnosticism, who had been a follower of 
Bradlaugh, and found no salvation there, was roused 
by an incident which appeared to be a call from God, 
and began, himself, to preach — of prayer and faith, 
of the baptism of the spirit and a new Pentecost. 
Interest, excitement and wonderful experiences followed. 
'Neurotic — all hysteria' — is one of the opinions offered 
to us on this development, but is not rair ; too much 



of every religion would be swept away by such a 
judgment. Nor is there the slightest suspicion of 
fraud ; I do not doubt the honesty of all concerned, 
but would merely point out both the facility and the 
limitations of this pouring forth of the Spirit ; this 
tapping of strange spiritual forces in man. The leader 
or this movement has retained the entire control, but 
maintains that the League has now an organic life of its 
own entirely independent of his or any other individual 
leadership. His aim is to establish branches every- 
where among Christians who share his faith in the 
powers of prayer. The object is to act upon religion 
as a world-wide stimulus, and above all things to seek 
to deepen the spiritual life. When this great end has 
been attained the rest follows : * If you get a man right 
with God, he will be right with himself and his fellows,* 
and as a corollary from this view we find that the 
League, like certain exclusive Churches that do not 
share its missionary zeal, is critical of the various social, 
philanthropic, recreative and eleemosynary expedients 
to which nearly all Churches are apt to resort : * They 
are on the wrong lines ; * * Prayer is the weapon that 
we must learn to wield better, the spiritual life must be 
our quest.' The members, said in 1900 to number 
some thirty thousand, form a kind of spiritual brother- 
hood, praying daily for their churches and for one 
another * that the Holy Spirit may mightily fill them 
and that a general awakening may follow.' 

All the work done in connection with the League 
is voluntary. Speke Hall is its home ; the nest from 
which its wings are tried ; but missions are held from 
time to time in various parts of London, and Exeter 
Hall has become the centre of its greater demonstration. 
The local influence is not very important, but the 
whole thing is interesting as a religious development. 



In writing of Poplar and Bow I referred to Messrs. 
Crooks and Lansbury as the men under whose leader- 
ship the democratic control of local affairs had proved 
satisfactory. Out of all comparison more energetic 
than the previous rigtmCj it is certainly not less 
honest, and seems to be at all points fairly amenable 
to reason. This, if it be maintained, is to be 
accounted, without doubt, a public asset of no small 
value. A good deal has been risked to win it. 
The case of Battersea is different. The man had 
already been found. When power passed to the 
democracy, Mr. John Burns had already won the 
remarkable position he still holds both on the London 
County Council and in Parliament, and if he * domin- 
ated' the Vestry, as we were told he did, it was 
rather as a moderating influence, and it remains so 
under the new borough constitution now that the 
Vestry no longer exists. 

A few quotations may be given to show how the 
work of the Vestry was regarded locally, and to throw 
light on the conditions with which they had, and 
their successors still have, to contend. 

* Vestry active and efficient, sanitary inspectors busy, 
no cause for complaint,' says one of^ the clergy. 

* Vestry very keen and does its best,' says another. 

* Active and good,' says a third, and from a Baptist 
minister we hear that it * does its work well and is pure 
considering the class of men on it.' But another of the 
Church clergy, while speaking of it as active, efficient 
and very progressive politically, refers to the low moral 
standard of some members leading to no infrequent 
jobbery scandals ; whilst others express great distrust, 
suspecting jobbery and corruption ; and finally, another 
Baptist denounces the Vestry as composed of men of 


low type, whose meetings become a bear garden ; and 
who, while the rates go up by leaps and bounds, say 
openly, ' those on the hill shall pay for us,' 

The annual report for 1899- 1900, a volume of 

four or five hundred pages, bears evidence to 

thoroughness and care. The work of administration 

was sub-divided amongst many committees, and some 

hundreds of meetings were held during the year. In 

the matter of drainage, extensive works have been 

carried out, both in relaying and in repairing, and the 

condition of the drainage of the district is reported as 

being now above the average. The streets on the 

whole are well cleaned. There is some litter and 

mess reported in the smaller ones, but the work in 

this respect compares very favourably with that of 

the Lambeth Vestry in adjoining streets. Enterprise 

has been shown in various ways : a dust destructor 

has been erected, which consumes ninety-three tons 

per day. Electric lighting has been installed ; there 

are two sets of baths ; and a central and two branch 

libraries. The Vestry also gave a series of free 

concerts in the Town Hall with voluntary performers, 

I which proved successful. 

' Housing accommodation in this district varies much 

in different parts. In some there is much overcrowding 

and such difficulty in obtaining house room that, 

whatever the inconveniences they may suffer, people are 

I afraid to move. But the inspectors are reported as 

I vigilant and doing all they can to minimise the resultant 

evils. There are complaints of high and continually 

' rising rents, and people have applied to the guardians for 

I assistance, not because of being in distress, but because 

I unable to find house room. Health throughout is 

I reported as fairly good. The birthrate is high, but 

I the deathrate is low, being 16.6 as compared to 19.3 for 

all London. 

t J 


In Battersea, however, more even than in other 
places, averages hide the facts, so great is the difference 
between one part of the district and another. The 
satisfactory condition of the Shaftesbiuy Park Estate, 
for instance, must not be allowed to cover up the 
conditions of life in Orville Road or Nine Elms. 





At the north-east end of Clapham Common, in the 
Old Town and on either side of the High Street, 
there are the remains of old-established poverty, yield- 
ing now, however, to reconstruction, and being either 
hustled from street to street, or driven away altogether. 
Elsewhere the Common is surrounded by a great 
number of new streets and new people. The spacious 
gardens belonging to the old houses pass one after 
the other into the hands of the speculative builder ; 
before long every available acre will have been used, 
and the Common will remain as a people's park in 
the midst of an immense population. 

This district is one of the great pools into which 
the living stream flows. It has received some of the 
best parts of this stream, and the pool that is forming 
is not at all a bad pool. 

The character of Lord Battersea*s property and of 
the Shaftesbury Park estate has been already referred 
to. This excellent character extends to the streets 
south of Lavender Hill, and on all sides of the 
Common, with a gradual rise in the social scale as 
shown by the red and yellow patches on the map. But 


by for the greater part of the streets are pink, or pink 
barred with red, which are the special colourings of 
the comfortable working and lower middle classes. 
As the stream flows it has a levelling effect, but there 
are differences in character and habits (partly due to 
position), of which we shall be able to take account as 
we pass fi-om parish to parish. 

At the south-west end of the Common, where 
there are still some of the old houses, stands St. Luke*s 
church, already mentioned as belonging to the parish 
of St. Mary, Battersea. This church, spoken of in 
a parish report of twenty-three years ago as * our 
little rural outpost,* is now the most fashionable church 
in this neighbourhood. It provides a beautiful musical 
service, and is attended by large numbers, coming 
mostly from this end of the Common where the 
streets are, and perhaps always will be, occupied by 
well-to-do people. But on all sides there is a never- 
ending demand for small two-storeyed houses, arranged 
for either one or two families. These as fast as they are 
erected are occupied by people who have enough to 
enable them to live very comfortably ; though, having 
probably little or nothing saved, they depend on con- 
tinued prosperity. Among them are many newly- 
married couples, and there is here no sign of any reduc- 
tion in the birth-rate. Such is the account given by the 
rector. These people do not come to church much, and 
are difficult to visit parochially, but are good respectable 
people, and not to be called irreligious. They could 
probably, he thought, be got to come in thousands to 
an advertised service in some special hall ; or might even 
go a long way to hear some popular evangelist. 

Among these new-comers the Nonconformists are 
more confident and more successful than the Church ; 
but with them, too, there is a natural class limit. 
Their churches are mainly supported by the lower 
middle class found largely in the streets pink barred 
V 12 


with red ; with the working class (pure pink) their 
difficvdties begin ; and in the very few streets that 
show a really poor element (blue) all religious efforts 
fail here as elsewhere. 

The Wesleyans say that this neighbourhood is good 
for Methodism, and their success would seem to 
prove it. It has been already referred to in our notes 
upon Battersea. Beginning with a small temporary 
iron building, into which three hundred people could 
with difficulty be crowded, they have built and 
recently opened, in the very midst of the new streets, 
a large and b^utiful church, and bid fair to fill it 
with worshippers. Many of these are very keen ; 
some attend * every time the door is opened,' so 
frequently, indeed, that * perhaps home duties suffer.* 
All the usual elements of Wesleyan congregational 
life are here in full activity, and their young minister 
is a strong spiritual force amongst them. Youthf\il- 
ness is a characteristic of this congregation as it is of 
the surrounding population, and the large number of 
newly-married couples is again mentioned. 

The Baptists are no less successful. They are longer 
established, and have a full church, but the movement 
of population causes a constant change in the in- 
dividuals composing it. Some of their people come 
fi-om further off; but in the main they are drawn from 
the same streets as the Wesleyans, and consist of 
* middle, lower giiddle and working class, clerks, 
City people, &c.' *A11 live comfortably, but not half 
a dozen could spare a ;^io note.* They are, however, 
willing to pay for their religion, and since 1892 have 
reduced the debt on the chapel by ^^3000 (from ^^5000 
to ;^200o). Their minister speaks confidently of the 
prospects of religious work generally in the district 
and of the large proportion of the population that 
is reached : numbering in their own case certainly as 
many as two thousand five hundred all told, ^ and ours 



is only one.' And he is confident that the Churches 
mil succeed if they devote themselves to the spiritual 
needs of the people. A little Strict Baptist church 
has also secured a very respectable congregation. 
These Churches are all successful and contented ; it is 
only when, leaving their awn ground, they try what 
can be done for the inhabitants of one or two poor 
streets, which form the hunting ground of their mission 
work, that they feel depression. 

The vicar of St. Michael's Church noted the con- 
tinual shifting of the population in this district and the 
result of this in a general levelling (both up and down) 
towards the lower middle class. This change has not 
greatly affected attendance at his church, but does 
affect it financially. The story is told by the coins in 
the offertory : copper increases while silver decreases, 
and gold is seldom seen. The church is rarely more 
than half full. It is robbed of those who consider 
feshion by the smarter churches, St. Luke's and 
St. Mark's ; and cannot compete for hereditary Non- 
conformists with their own churches. Nor amongst 
those who are retained is much zeal shown, nor any 
strong innate rehgious feeling. Again we hear that 
you might count on your fingers those who are deeply 
attached. It seems that those left to the care of the 
Church are a residuum. Amongst them are a good 
many unsatisfactory people : people who for some 
reason have come down in the world. The clergy, 
when visiting, find many closed doors. 

It is to be noted that the change of tone as to the 
prospects of religion occurs just where the colour on 
our map changes from pink-barred to pink ; and we 
find it still more strongly marked in the account given 
us by the Methodist Free Church, which is situated 
quite amongst the pink, *A splendid building, but 
wrongly placed,' says its minister, who In describing 
the surrounding people puts comfortable working class 


first as the main element, though there are also some 
clerks and others who find their employment north of 
the Thames in the City or in the locality of the Strand, 

To arrest the attention of the working class this 
Methodist church caters to the demand for popular 
entertainments, but though these may keep people 
away fi"om public-house or theatre on week-dsiys, they 
do not increase the Sunday congregations. *The 
religious faculty is not much developed,* and the 
growth of Sunday visiting, which marks the strength 
of their home life, acts as a hindrance to religious 
observance. The pianos are going on Sunday evening ; 
and, in explanation of non-appearance, even church- 
going people will say, * We had so-and-so come to see 
us.* In this case also it is found difficult to reach the 
people in their homes. Those who go on behalf of the 
Church are not always welcomed, and do not know at 
what hour to call. 

The Strict Baptist minister, speaking rather as an 
onlooker, refers to the effort made by people to ape those 
better off than themselves. People with ;^ioo a year 
try to do the same as those with ;^200, and he sees that 
the result is very injurious socially. It will, I think, 
be others rather than his own people that he has in 
mind. He watches the poor, too. His chapel is 
situated in the poorest street, and the children come to 
his Sunday school because it is the nearest. None of the 
parents belong to his own congregation or to any other, 
and he no doubt hits the nail on the head when he says, 
*The people do not appreciate visiting. They don*t care 
to have a lot of parsons prowling about their houses.* 

The Salvation Army finds the whole of this district 
bad for its work : too respectable, on the one hand, 
and with too great a love of pleasure, on the other. 
Their congregations consist of their own people, a 
handful of adherents ; they cannot win outsiders. At 
out-of-door meetings *the people stand round and 


seem interested, but wi9 not ioDom to lite iolL* 
There are two dE these Etdc farnds of SaJn^DODSfits, 
and their existence is a nwivlJTtT asd w u n" .' i j1 r qiase 
futile struggle to spread the h^n of laczr go^xL 

On the nordi side of Qapham C j nmmnn l5at Ooaagre^ 
gationalists are not less succcsstal titas tbe Wcsxnwss 
and Baptists to the west. Tbcr large crurA in 
Stormont Road is filled oo Sondar bodb m ^ jeuu u g aoad 
evening, and in it congrceataoDal Efe nzss fCroflo^ It 
is to some extent a reviv:dl Tlioagh never a ^labs^ 
this church at first soficred from the social iLMMgt.% 
going on round it, but lamng to jrrommo date itself 
to these, now finds a source cfstrcogdi m the f^treaoi 
of new-comers. Their minister has no ramm to oms- 
plain of indifference or lack of re^xmse ; aad speaks of 
the neighbourhood as reli^;ioos and dmrdsgobag ; md 
one in which not to go forward i% to go badL The 
PresbTterians, too, though as jtt an infimt ethn 
hampered bjr debt on new boil^iigf, are raj hmdUL 
They r^ard the influx of new comers as good for the 
cause. Their mimster q>oke of the people as rtry 
domestic in their habits and sboviiig mndi hmif 
affection. Home influence is pamtHvi here, tise 
people have good homes, and ^end much of ^har 
time in them. With non-churd^goert, Sund^ n ihe 
day for outings ; and even some cfatnchgoer^ ii»dtilge 
in long cycle rides, after tHuch they mxy come to 
service in the evening. The members of thb con* 
gregation are better educated than nKMt, aiyf the 
Church Literary Society flourishes. 

St. Mark's has been wpcken of as bein£ ^MfeionaUe, 
and on that account apt to rob Sc Michad% of some n^ 
its parishioners. It has a prominent situati/in, and 
collects a lar^e congreeadon from all rtmnA. The 
church, which is ^free and opoi," is wdl filled on fiutuhy 
morning, and packed full mr the evening service, and 
the commuiucants at Easter number over five hundred. 


The difficulty of getting to know who the people are is 
again mentioned. Visiting can only be attempted in 
a few of the poorer streets. Elsewhere it would not 
be welcomed. There is, however, here also a remark- 
able Church Literary Society with about tour hundred 
members, which must be a considerable help. The 
average attendance at its meetings is as much as two 
hundred. This is on the whole a happy and successfid 

St. Barnabas, standing at the north-west corner of 
the Common, also obtains fidl congregations, and is the 
centre of much religious activity. It is a large and 
rather striking church, newly- built of stone, and is 
regarded as a pillar of Protestantism amidst the 
surrounding Ritualism, for to this complexion has 
Clapham come in our days. 

Except at the Church of the Ascension already 
described, and at one branch of the old parish church of 
Clapham, the ritual cannot be called extreme ; but it is 
sufficient and sufficiendy pervading to be noticeable as 
a reaction from the Evangelicalism of the past. This 
reaction goes beyond Ritualism and reaches to the gates 
of Rome ; for Clapham is one of the greatest centres of 
Catholicism in London. Not only is there a very 
large congregation at the Church of Our Lady of 
Flowers in the High Street, and a convent on the 
Common, but the Catholics have also one or two 
middle-class schools, occupying the old houses of the 
Clapham sect, where may have been held some of the 
first meetings of the Church Missionary Society, or of 
the Bible Society, a hundred years ago. 

The parish church itself (Holy Trinity) where the 
ritual is purposely kept very moderate, fills a quite 
peculiar position in the hearts of those who belong to 
Clapham. It is the mother church, and *all who 
formerly belonged, or can by any stretch of imagination 
be said to belong, to Clapham, come here to be 


christened, or married, or dmrrhrd/ Tlse parish wosk. 
is active and successful ; and tiie paris^oncrs take an 
interest in it. The rector is still considered li»e 
natural head in many local as well as rdBg^ons 
matters. He has under him five or sax curates, and 
those who like lights on the altar, or vestments, majr 
find them at St. Saviour*s Chapd-<rf^£ase or Sl Peter's 
Mission Church. 

At H0I7 Trinity the congregations are large in ^te 
of changes. Old and wealthy Oapham has gone to 
dwell in Kensington or Surrey, and the new Qajdiam 
of ^\o householders has moved in from Kennington 
and elsewhere. Moreover, there is constant movement 
amongst the occupants of the new streets. The houset 
are taken on a three years* lease, and moving it 
thought nothing of. But through all this change and 
flux the old church holds its place. 

It is otherwise with the Nonconformists. In Grafton 
Square there is a church for many years associated 
with the pastorate of one of the best known leaders of 
the Congregational body. This denomination is still 
fairly strong here ; and a wealthy congregation still 
occupies the beautiful church ; but its members are 
beginning to be somewhat scattered by removal, and 
intercepted by other churches nearer thdr homes, so 
that their numbers dwindle. The changes in the 
neighbouring population have gone against them, and 
in this connection the unsetding influence of the 
three years' lease on Church membership is expressly 
mentioned. An attempt is made to justify their local 
existence by mission work among the neighbouring 
poor, the most successful feature of this being the 
music, which is the work of a musical enthusiast who 
devotes himself entirely to it, making it both at 
church and mission extraordinarily good. 

The Baptist church in the same square is also finding 
this part of Clapham diflicult ground. The reasons 


given are that Clapham, by which is meant old 
Clapham, is dead alive, and that its sympathies, so far 
as they can be moved, are Conservative and Ritualistic 
and Roman Catholic. Besides which both the Baptist 
and the Congregationalist churches are in a somewhat 
out of the way situation in a neighbourhood which is 
being abandoned to the class of people who let apart- 

There is another church of the Baptist persuasion in 
Wandsworth Road, very near St. Saviour*s, which I 
have doubted whether to include here, or in St. Paul's 
parish yet to be described, within the limits of which 
it actually stands, or to couple it with the Stormont 
Road Congregational Church, as further illustrating 
the influence of the stream of new life. It is a church 
of long standing, and its present minister has occupied 
the pulpit twenty-seven years. The congregation, 
though still middle class, is no longer so rich as it 
was, and though fairly large, is not so numerous as 
formerly. Congregational life, however, is vigorous. 
The young people are interested and held. They 
enjoy music, and take such part in it as they can ; 
but it is still mainly to the sermon that they look : 
* They sit up — the attention is braced.' The propor- 
tion of men, both young and old, is greater than in 
most churches ; though on the whole it is admitted that 
the attempt to reach men fails ; the poor are not 
reached at all. * Men will attend political or socialist 
meetings ; church fails to attract. The poor are 
visited, cried to at open-air meetings and coaxed — 
nothipg touches them.' Social differences are keenly 
felt here ; the two sets of mothers, for instance, repre- 
senting chapel and mission, will not sit down together. 

The analysis continues : * It is not only we who 
fail, everyone does.' * That those who come to church 
do not live up to their professions goes for something 
in explanation, but is not sufficient.' ^ However much 


we may dislike to admit it, church-going in London 
denotes a certain height in the social scale.' ^ In Scot- 
land the streets round here would be black with 
churchgoers; here only one or two specks appear in 
streets containing thousands of people/ Such is the 
interesting evidence of the successful minister of this 
active church. From another point of view, that of 
local government, he speaks of Clapham as very 
Conservative and slow — and contrasts it with Batter- 
sea, which goes to the other extreme in its activity. 

St. James's, at the east end of the Common, shares 
with St. Barnabas, at the north-west, the support of 
Evangelicals, and gathers a large congregation. It 
has profited fi"om High Church activity, which, as 
before noted, whether its special doctrines and practices 
attract or repel, tends to stimulate religious life all round. 
The parish has a large and rapidly increasing population, 
and as the old family houses fall empty new streets 
are built on their sites. The vicar, who had great 
gifts both socially and in the pulpit, has lately retired 
through ill-health. It is said that his congregation 
included many Nonconformists as well as Evangelical 

The work of St. James's among the poor is much 
criticized as being pauperising in its character. It is 
centred in White Square, once a notorious den of 
ini(juity and rowdyism, and still bad as well as poor. 
This is a bit of old Clapham which strikes a very 
different note from all the rest of the district. The 
square is an open space, unpaved and uncared for, 
surrounded by two-storeyed houses in which live 
a large number of costers. It is isolated, as the only 
entry to it is by a narrow lane running down hill to 
the square from Clapham High Street. A Congre- 
gationalist church in Park Crescent near by, which 
was closed for lack of support, is now used by the 
Free Methodist Connexion as a mission, and the 



Sister who visits in White Square and the other poor 

Suarters is disheartened by her lack of success among 
lie pauperised poor. 
So ends our picture, from a religious point of view, 
of the district which lies round Clapham Common, 
It is on the whole satisfactory, and, in this respect, 
forms a marked contrast to that which has been drawn 
of Battersea, or that we shall have to give of Wands- 
worth and Putney. 



From the point of view of the home, the story is 
also satisfactory. ^Home* and ^Church' may often 
clash, but it is not unfair to place the ^ World* in 
antithesis to both ; and the Church should rejoice in 
the strength of home ties. The main social fact in 
the growth of any population is the formation of new 
homes, and the comfort of these homes is the main 
fact of its well-being. It is a great satisfaction to know 
that prosperity marks the new homes here where 
(if we include Battersea, which from this point of 
view it is necessary to do) their formation has during 
the last thirty years* been more rapid than anywhere else 

♦ Increase in No. of Houses. 








30 years. 


Lewisham ... 








It will be seen that for the last ten years Fulham and Lewisham lead. 


in Ix)ndon. As homes the houses have had the great 
advantage of being specially built to suit the classes 
that have occupied them. The object has been to 
provide self-contained dwellings of from three to seven 
rooms, each having its own kitchen, scullery and 
washing copper, and each with its own front and 
back door. Great ingenuity has been shown, and 
a type of house has been produced which can be 
arranged for either one or two families, and which not 
only fulfils these requirements, but has some external 
architectural merit ; far more, I think, than can be 
claimed for the contemporary three-storey houses of 
the class above. A house must be attractive outside 
as well as in, not only in order to secure the better 
tenants, but also that finally pride may step in — the 
pride of the owner in his property and in the character 
of his tenants, as well as that of the occupier in 
his home ; a pride which caps the economic position, 
and sustains the good that has been created by thought 
and art in the pursuit of profit. The force of this 
advantage is the more evident when we study the 
reverse, and trace the decadence of property, reck- 
lessly built, or unsuccessfully adapted to its present 
from some other purpose, neither convenient within 
nor attractive without, in which no one can find 
pleasure or take pride, and where at length even profit 
falls to zero. 

The system of three-year leases is objected to as 
unsettling to the lives of the tenants, as well as 
tending to division of interest between landlord and 
occupant. But the system has its good points ; it fits 
in with the recurring incidents in the life of a house 
as well as with the changing circumstances of the 
occupants. Every three years the rooms require 
to be papered and painted and done up, and this term 
is as long as can be looked forward to by most tenants. 
In three years there may be one or two more children ; 


in three years there may have been a rise of salary ; 
in three years the elder children may be at work, or 
gone to live elsewhere, or a son or daughter may be 
married. It is felt that it is well to be free. The 

goods and chattels are easily moved, and the pride of 
ome suffers not at all. A removal may be an occasion 
for some new pieces, but in the main the old furniture 
serves equally for the new home. Nor under these 
circumstances does a change of tenant trouble the 
landlord. If the old tenants stay they require as much 
to be done as a new one, and in dealing with a new 
tenant the owner is more free to demand a rise of 
rent, if this is economically justified. Thus his whole 
interest lies in maintaining a good character for his 

It may be thought that I pass too lightly over the 
unsettling influences of such frequent changes of 
residence. It will be said that ties, social, political or 
religious are less likely to be established, and that for 
a man and his family to be locally known exercises 
a control upon conduct. But I think these points 
may easily be exaggerated, especially if the change of 
locality does not involve any very great distance ; 
that social, political and religious life, if healthy, 
will stand the strain and suffer nothing by it, and 
the man be and remain a good citizen as well as 
a good householder. 

The balance upon which this system rests, giving 
it in spite of constant flux a social stability of its own, 
is here distincdy connected with, and is perhaps even 
dependent on, the stream of newcomers, which fills 
up the gaps as they occur, and carries forward those 
who float most lightly to ^ fresh woods and pastures 
new,' cut up into convenient streets. But the stream 
is not essential. The same wholesome results of pride 
in ownership and in occupancy should arise wherever 
enterprise, while seeking its own advantage, sets itself 



wisely and honestly to provide the houses required for 
the homes of the people. 

In this chapter I treat as Clapham the whole sur- 
roundings of the Common, but in so doing depart 
somewhat from geographical accuracy. Clapham and 
its High Street lie entirely to the east of the Common, 
while its north and west sides form portions of Batter- 
sea and Wandsworth. Moreover, the Common is like 
the sea ; it may be questioned whether it joins or 
separates those between whom it lies. In summer it 
serves as a meeting place, but in winter is a barrier 
rarely crossed. Thus there have come to be two 
centres of life. What Clapham High Street, its shops, 
tram cars and railway stations are to the eastern, St. 
John's Hill is to the western section. Clapham Junction 
has become a second and greater Clapham. 

The people, too, are different. Those whose centre is 
Old Clapham have indeed altered greatly from what 
they were, but it is In the other part that the whole 
tide of humanity has been felt, changing everything. 
The facilities of approach are exceptionally great, and 
these advantages have gready helped the local spread 
of population. 

The gay and crowded streets at Clapham Junction 
are one visible result of the surging life of this new 
population, and here a good deal of vice floats on the 
suriuce. Prostitution is rife, and the Commons at 
night are scenes of disorder. Perhaps when they come 
to be railed in and recognised as public parks control 
may be more possible. 




There remain still to be dealt with, a group of 
parishes which lie between Clapham and Nine Elms 
and which thus complete the circuit we have made. 
These form a kind of backwater. 

St. John*s, the parish immediately to the east of 
Clapham station, is decadent. The villa population is 
moving out, houses which were never intended for 
more than one family are occupied by two, or if by one 
it is by such as seek to pay their rent by letting 
lodgings. The poorer residents do not come to the 
church and its seats are but ill-filled by middle-class 
people, who are drawn as much from Stockwell as from 
Clapham. It is a difficvdt parish, and the Church of 
England has it to herself. The poor are r^^ularly 
visited, but others are above visitation and apt to slam 
the door, and say, ^I am a respectable person.* For the 
working classes Sunday is a day of rest and inaction ; 
they will not come to church. 

The neighbouring parish of St. Paul, lying directly 
to the north of Holy Trinity, has a much poorer 
population. The church has been filled by a middle- 
class congregation coming fi-om far and near, attracted 
by the eloquence of the incumbent. But in other 
ways things went wrong. There was a scandal only 
terminated by resignation. 

The Congregationalists of Grafton Square have here 
the mission already referred to. Those who attend 
the adult meetings in a regular way are mosdy women, 
and only a few of these come from the surrounding 
streets, but the mission is useful amongst the children 
and very active in various ways, and the really excellent 
music given at the * Pleasant Wednesday Evening* 
meeting is appreciated. Their neighbours are invited 


and encouraged to come *just as thejr are' in their 
working clothes, and to this service the men like to 

There is also another mission whose want of success 
on the spiritual side is very marked. All that can 
be claimed for it is that others do no better. * Most 
of the chapels in the neighbourhood are nearly empty/ 
* In the new and highly respectable working-class streets 
scarcely a soul attencls any place of worship.* Again, 
it is pointed out that no difficulty is ever found in 
filling * Tent meetings ; * a thousand will attend them ; 
but, it is added, they are nearly all religious people. 
At this place much is given in the way of free meals, 
the only limit to the amount distributed being the 
difficulty of raising fiinds. Altogether we seem to have 
returned to the unsatisfactory state of things described 
in the more central parts of South London. 

In Christ Church — ^where, too, the district is going 
down socially, and is poorer than it looks, and where 
indifference to religion is the characteristic feature — 
extravagance of ritual, ^ confessions, masses, processions 
and everything that is possible,* followed by Kensit 
riots and other strenuous forms of public notice, have 
filled the church. It seems to have been a somewhat 
mad development, and one turns with a sense of repose 
to the report of the little Strict Baptist Church. 
"Through mercy we have been spared in peace and 
unity through another year. Our dear pastor has been 
enabled to declare with no uncertain sound the Gospel 
of the grace of God. Congregations at all services 
have been very good : finances very satisfactory. . . . 
we hope soon to begin to build a new schoolroom. 
The pastor*s week-night Bible-class is well attended. 
We thank God, and take courage." 


DESCRIPTIVE NOTES. MapS. (Vol. V., Part II .Chapters I, A 11.)- 
Battersea and Clapbain. 

Adjoining Mipi-N. WcaJmintltiiind Inner West (Vol. III.); E. OottiSouth(Vi>l. VI.J. 
W. FnJhsm {Vol. lll.J and Wnndaivcuih and Pulns)- Ip. .10.). 

Qeneral Character.— The map comprises tbe districts of Battersea, 

Clapham and pari of Wandsworth. II is divided into two parts by ihe 
London and South Western Railway, which crosses it in a south- westerly 
direction. This, with the river, Baiietsea Park. Clapham Common and 
Wandsworth Common, are the controlling features of the district. The 
vell-to-do cluster round the Commons, tbe poor are crowded near the rail- 
way. A fair number of detached houses with large gardens occupied by the 
wealthy remain round Clapham Common, but the tendency is for the rich 
to leave tbe district, and for their dwellings to be replaced by houses 
built for and tenanted by the middle and lower middle classes. The 
colours red, pink barred with red, and pink prevail round Clapham and 
Wandsworth Commons; the (airly com lortable working class (pink) liv-a 
between Lavender Hill and the railway and off the west side of Battersea 
Park, and tbe poor (blue] chiefly between Battersea Park Road and the 
railway. The whole district is within easy access of tbe West End and 
the City, and is largely tenanted by clerks and managers and West-End 

Poverty Areas.— Ballersea lying north of the railway is more uniformly 
poor than Clapham lying to Ibe south. In Battersea poverty is caught 
and held in successive railway loops south of the Battersea Park Road. 
beginning with the dark blue and black Ponton Road area lying between 
the gas-works and the railway, and continuing westwards with six blocks 
of purple and blue (increasing), with a small (decreasing) area of pink : 
(i), between Haines Street and Ste«-art's Road, with only two exits to the 
South and none either to the East or West ; {3), between Palmers ton Street 
and the Latchmere allotments, with only two footways across the railway 
and an opening westwards along Sbeepiote I^ne ; {3). a small triangle 
(light blue) lying east of the Latchmere Road; U). Latchmere Grove 
(light blue and black) with only a northern exit ; (5). between Falcon Road 
and the railway, pink turning to blue as (he railway embankment is 
reached ; and (5), a block between Lavender Road and the railway (purple, 
blue and black). This ia one of the best object-lessons in ' poverty-lraps ' 
in London. Apart front these, there are small patches of black and blue 
in Battersea. such as Orvilte Road and Europa Place ividt p. 162). 
On the low ground south of the railway, which is hemmed in, thongh 
not broken up b^ lines to the same extent as the land aorth of the 
railway, the situation has been saved by the care of the managers of the 
Shaftesbury and Flower Estates, though the damp clayey soil of this side 
is leas healthy to live on than the brick earth to the North. Further East 
is a block of light blue on either side of Stewart's Road. 

There are besides small blocks of old-established poverty in Clapham. 
such as those in the Old Town and off Nelson's Row. and less pronounced 
in Chatham Road between Clapham and Wandsworth Commons. 

Employments.— Artisans, mechanics, labourers, clerks, and shop 
assistants working in the West End live in lat^e numbers in Battersea. 
Many railway guards, signalmen, platelayers, and porters, both live and 
work In the district, others go to more central stations in Ijsndoa, The 
workshops of the South Western and the South Eastern and Chatham 
railways also provide employment for large numbers of mechanics and 
labourers, most of whom live near the works on the eastern side of the 



ijistrict. as do many shunters, porters, aod othm nnployed in the Nine 
Elms Goods' Dep6t. On the western side locxl woric ii provided by 
a candle factory and plumbago and crucible works, as well as at Urge 
stables of the London Road Car Company, There are alio large baking 
and confectionery works. A strong theatrical and mu*ic-hall coatinRent 
comes from Ihe roads between Clapham and Wandsworlli Coromnni. 
The poorest are gasworkers. soapwotken. Kavengen. coftlie*. wood- 
choppers, and costers ; the richest are City merchants, both active and 
retired. For women there is work on the north side of Ihe rlvxr at tho 
Goverament clothing factory in Pimlico. as charwomen in Cbelaoa boiUM, 
and as shop assistants; in Batteiwa women are employed In cigtr and 
pencil, soap and candle factories, and in laundries. 

Housing and Rents. — The older working-class bonses north of Ihe 
railway are fairly built of yellow brick with two storeys, and tenanted 
generally by two families. Near Battersea Park new red brick flats 
prevail. South of the railway there are the large old-fashioned houiea 
round Clapham Common, and behind them endless streets of new houses 
let on the three-year system (vidi p. 187). North of Lavender Hill are the 
working-class estates already mentioned. There are colonies of gipsies 
living in their vans in Sheepcote Lane atid Latchmere Grove, The worst 
conditions are found in the Ponton Road area lyidi p. 150). in Little 
Europa Place and Orville Road {vide p. i5z). Middle-class flats in the 
neighbonrhood of Battersea Park are rented at from £^s to £100. 
Rents of the best old houses round Clapham Common, and even of 
middle-class residences, have fallen. The fine gardens of Eagle House 
are already nearly covered by three hundred houses built for the ' pink' 
and ' pink-barred ' classes. 

The prevailing type of house occupied by the poor is of two storeys, 
with a frontage of 14 ft. to ifi ft., with four 10 sin rooms, built to accom- 
modate two families, and rented at 101 to 14;. Single rooms fetch 21 6if to 
31. but the majority live in two rooms at about 4: 6i to y 6d, Rents were 
still rising in 189S, 

Markets. — The chief shopping streets for the middle and lower middle 
classes are High Street, Clapham, Lavender Hill, and St. John's Road. 
The chief market streets are Battersea Park Road, York Road, Wands- 
worth Road (near New Road) and Northcote Road. 

Public- Houses. —Public-houses, beerhooses, oET 'jug' licences, and 
grocers' licences are fairly distributed over the portion of the map lying 
east of Wandsworth Road Station. They also mark the line of Battersea 
Park Road and Wandsworth Road throughout ; jug licences and grocers' 
licences are more numerous in proportion to full licences and beer- 
licences as the more modern districts to the west are reache<]. The older 
parts of Battersea lying between High Street, the river, and St. John's 
Hill, are also wet) supplied with licenced houses : in the new district 
tying south of Clapham Common, licences of any hind are rare. In new 
areas 'jug' licences replace beerhouses as the rnark of poor or working 
class areas and grocers' licences mark the shopping streets of the 

Places of Amusement.— The best known theatres are the ■ Shake- 
speare ' on Lavender Hill, and the ' Duchess ' on Balhara Hill, just off 
the map; there is also the 'Queen's Theatre in Queen's Road, and 
a few Variety Halls. Both the ■ Shakespeare ' and -Duchess ' are of 
comparatively recent construction, and reflect a general increase in the 






Open SpKCes.— Batlersea Park, Ctapham Common and Waadsworth 
Common are large open spaces, aad the ' lungs ' of the Western half of 
South London They become increasingly valuable as the large privale 
gardens disappear and Iheir place is taken by rows of modern bouses. 
with very little air space at their backs. 

Health is good except in the low-lying poor areas between Batlersea 
Parli Road and the London and South-Weslem Railway. North of the 
railway the ground is of gravel and brick earth ; whilst to the south 
a broad band of clay runs from Nine Elms Westwards between the 
railway and Wandsworth Road. Clapham Common is on gravel, but the 
land between il and Wandsworth Common is of London clay. 

Changes In Population.— The -red' and 'yellow' classes are 
leaving, and the streets which they occupied are becoming ■ pink ' and 
' pink-barred ' ; whilst streets which were formerly 'pink ' turn to ' purple,' 
and ' pumle ' to ' light blue." The fairly comforlahle ' pink ' who not long 
ago lived north of the railway in Batlersea have moved to the Lavender 
Hill and Northcote Road districts, and have been replaced by poor from 
Chelsea and Westminster; the servant-keeping classes(' red') of Clapham 
have moved either out of London altogether or to the new houses and flats 
in more central London, and Iheir places taken by the fairly comfortable 
out of Kennington. South Lambeth and Stockwell. The law of successive 
migration is again seen. Hera the inrush of population has been helped 
by the extension of the City and South London Electric Railway to 
Ctapham Common. On the «est side of the Common there is a con- 
tinual shifting in a westerly direction, leading to a general level of lower 
middle in place of middle-classes. 

Means of Communication.— The efiect on part of this district of 
the want of means of communication by roads has been referred to under 
'Poverty areas.' Clapham Junction, on tie west side of the map, is 
a great railway centre: from it it is possible to reach West and North 
London vid Addison Road, inner West London at Victoria, inner South 
London at Waterloo and London Bridge, the City north of the river at 
Holbora and the Mansion House ; while communication both South and 
West is equally good by local direct lines lo Richmond, Wimbledon, 
Streatbam and Norwood. The east side of the district is served by the 
South London line and the Melropolilan Extension of the London and 
Chatham Railway with three stations, as also by the City and South 
London Electric Railway at the east end of the Common, which now 
offers a through route vid the Mansion House lo Islington. Very slow 
horse tramways run from Vauihall on the east along Batlersea Park Road 
and Wandsworth Road into Wandsworth ; another line from inner South 
London comes along the Clapham Road and thence westwards down 
Balham Hill into Lower Tooting. A line from the south «de of the 
Victoria Bridge gives communication between Chelsea and Lavender Hilt. 
What is wanted i— (i) The opening of roads between Baltersea north siid 
south of the railway lines ; (z) a bridge across the river al the west end of 
Surrey Lane giving access lo Fulham ; (3) the eitension of electric trams 
from Clapham along the north side of the Common to Wandsworth and 
Kingston ; (4) direct communication with North London by electric tram 
across one of the bridges into Chelsea. The electrification of the taia 
lines under the L, C. C, is already in progress. 




List of Parish Churches situated in the district covered by Sketch 
Map No. 20, and described in Part II., Vol. V.. with other Placis 
OP WORSHIP grouped in their ecclesiastical parishes. 

All Saints, Battersea Park. 

All Saints' Miss., Arthur St. 
Bapt. Tab.. Battersea Pk. Rd. 
U. Meth. Free Ch., Battersea 

Park Rd. 
Ch. of Christ, Railway Arch, 

Battersea Park Rd. 
Railway Miss.,BatterseaPk.Rd. 
Miss. Room, i, Park Grove. 
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (R. C), 

Battersea Park Rd. 
All Saints, Clapham Park. 
All Saints' Inst., Lyham Rd. 
Salem Bapt. Ch.. New Park Rd. 
OldBapt. UnionHall.LyhamRd. 
Baptist Ch.. Cornwall Rd. 
Safv. Army iBarr., Cornwall Rd. 
L.C.Miss. Hall. 197, Lyham Rd. 
All Saints, Wandsworth. 
Holy Trinity. West Hill. 
Memorial Hall (Cong.). High St. 
Bapt. Ch.. HaldonRd. 
Presb. Ch.. Lebanon Gardens. 
Down Lodge Hall. Merton Rd. 
Caius College Alias.* Harra- 

way Rd. 
Battersea Tabernacle (Bapt.), 

York Rd. 
YelvertonMiss.. 22,Yelvert*nRd. 

Christ Church, Battersea. 

Christ Ch. Miss. Ho.. a8. Wye St. 
Christ Ch. Miss. .Latchmere Rd. 
Milton Hall (Cong.). Cabul Rd. 
Brethren's Meeting Room, 122, 

High St. 
Mitchener Temp. Hall, Lith- 

gow St. 
Ofiord Hall. Mantua St. 
R. S. U. Hall, Railway Arches, 

Cabul Rd. 
Salv. Army Barracks. High St. 
Shaftesbury Hall (Salv. Army). 

Dorothy Rd. 
Christ Church, Clapham. 
Zion's Hill Bapt. Ch., Cour- 

land Grove. 
Wesl. Miss.. Clifton St. 
Howard Street Miss., New Rd. 
Holy Trinity, Clapham. 
St. Saviour's, Cedar's Rd. 
St. Peter's Miss. Ch., Manor St. 
St. Anne's Hall, Bromell's Rd. 


Cong. Ch.. Grafton Square. 
Belmont Hall (Cong.), Belmont 

Bapt. Ch., Grafton Square. 
Ebenezer Bapt. Ch., Wirtem< 

burg St. 
Carfax Hall (Breth). Carfax Sq. 
Salv. Army Hall, 3. Chip St. 
L. C. Miss. Hall, Bromelri Rd. 
St. Mary(R.C.),Claph'mPk.Rd. 

Holy Trinity, Roehampton. 

Miss. Hall. Medaeld St. 

St. Joseph (R. C), Roehampton 
St. Andrew, Battersea. 

St. Andrew's Miss.Stewart'iRd. 

Prim. Meth. Chapel, New Rd. 

Trin. Hall (Pres.). Stewart's Rd. 

Excelsior Miss., Linford St. 
5t. Andrew, Earlsfield. 

St. Andrew's Miss., Bendon Vail. 


Earlsfield Cong. Ch., Earls- 
field Rd. 

Cong. Hall, Thornsett Rd. 

Earlsfield Bapt. Ch., Magdalen 

Bapt. Miss., Wardley St. 

Home Miss. , Garratt Lane. 

Earlsfield Gos.Hall,GarrattLne. 
St. Anne, Wandsworth. 

Conff. Ch., East Hill. 

West Miss., South Street. 

Prim. Meth. Ch., High Street. 

Friends' Meeting House, 31, 
High Street. 

Brambleburv Hall, Bramble- 
bury Garaens. 

L. C. Miss., 14, South Street. 

Salv. Army Hall, South Street. 
St. Barnabas* Clapham Com- 

St. Matthew's, Rush Hill Road. 

Cong. Ch., Stormont Road. 

Presb. Ch., Altenburg Gardens. 
St. Faith, Wandsworth. 

St. Cecilia's Miss. , Warple Way. 

Bapt. Ch., East Hill. 

Wesl. Ch., St. John's Hill. 

Wesl. Miss., North Street. 

Unitarian Ch., St. John's Hill. 

13 * 



St. Oeorxe, Nine Elms. 

St. George's Miss., New Road. 

St. lames's Miss. Ch., Ponton 

Wesl. Miss., New Ro^. 

Salv. Army Slum Post, 3, Pon- 
ton Road. 
St. James, Ctapham Park. 

St. James's Miss., White Sq. 

Wcsl, Ch., High Slrect. 

U. Meth. Free Ch., Park Cres. 
St. John, Battersea. 

St. Paul's. St. John's Hill. 

St. John's Miss.. Britannia PI. 

Eltnnghom Miss. (CoDg.), 264, 
York Rd. 

Prira. Meth, Ch . Plough Rd. 

Railway Miss. Halt, Plough Rd. 

St. Mary, Battersea. 

St. Mary-!e-Park, Albert Road. 

CooB. Ch,, DridRe Road, 

Surrey Lane Bapl. Ch., Bailer- 
sea Square. 

Old Bapt, Unioo Miss., :8i, 
Bridge Rd. 

U, Meth. Free Ch,. Church Rd, 

Wesl. Cb., Bridge Road West. 

L. C. Miss. Room. 4J, Surrey 

Victoria Hall, 104. High Street. 
Sacred Heart of Jesus (R. C). 
Tcott Sireel, 
St. Mary, Putney. 
St. John Evangel,. Putney Hill. 
All Saints', Putney Lower Com. 
St. Mary's Miss , Cooper's Arms 

Cong. Ch., Oxford Road 
Union Ch., Up Richmond Rd, 
Bapt. Ch,, Werter Road. 
Presb.Ch., Briar Walk. 
Prim. Meth. Ch, , Coopers' Anns 

Emmanuel Free Church of Eng- 
land, Upper Richmond Rd. 
L. C. Miss, Hall, The Plait. 
Sefcon Miss,, Sefton Street. 

St. Michael, Wandawortb 

Bapt. Ch.. Northcote Road. 
Bapt, Ch,, Chatham Road. 
U, Meth. Free Ch.. Matlinsoa 

Bennerley Hall {Salv. Army). 

Bennerley Rd. 
Wesl, Misa., Broomwood Rd. 
St. Michael, Southflelds. 
St Michael's Parish Room, 

Merton Rd. 
Granville Pres. Miss , Balvemie 

St. Paul, Clapham. 

St. Paul's Miss., Heath Rd. 

Cong. Miss , Queen's Place. 

Victoria Bapt. Ch.. Wands- 
worth Rd, 

Bapl, Miss , Rensbaw St. 

Union Tabernacle. Wands- 
worth Rd. 

L C Miss. Hall, Grange Rd. 
St. Paul, Witnbledon Park. 

St. Barnabas' Miss, Ch., Mer- 
ion Rd, 

Southfield'sBapt.Ch, Merton Ed. 

St. Peter, Battersea. 

Providence Bapt. Ch., Mej-- 

rick Rd, 
Speke Hall (Pentecostal League), 

Speke Rd, 
Oake Mis, Rm,, 139, Plough Rd. 

St. Philip, Battersea. 

St, Bartholomew's, Wyrlifle Rd. 
Si. Philip's Mis.. Portalade Rd. 
Wesl Ch , Queen's Rd. 
Salv, Army Barr , Qaeen's Rd. 
Prot. Mis, Ch,. Queen's Rd. 

St. Saviour. Battersea. 

Brethren's Meeting Room. Dod- 

dinglon Groi-e, 
Shaftesbury Welcome Hail 
(R.SU ). Doddington Grove. 
St. Stephen, Battersea. 
Si, Aldwin's Hall, Poynti Rd. 

St. Stephen, Wandsworth. 

St. Stephen's Miss. Ch.. Putney 

Bridge Rd. 

Si. Stephen's, Point Pleasaat. 

Si. Thomas (R. C), West HUI. 

TheAscenston, Lavender HIM. 

Prim. Melh. Cb., Grayshott Rd. 


• « 






in the service of the godless poor. "Little love 
is lost" between church and chapel, or chapel and 
chapel, says one who himself works independently 
and with some success. There is much competition 
in giving. We have been told in more than one 
quarter that ^ soup is no longer acceptable/ and at the 
same time we hear again from more than one witness, 
that as to spiritual aims, mission work is becoming 
more difficult and the people more indifferent. The 
effi^rts made are proportionately great, and apply (as 
does the indifference also) not alone to the degraded 
casual poor, but to the whole motley crowd of new- 
comers, who arrive in such numbers that in spite of 
all that is done, the proportion of church accommoda- 
tion to population is less than it was ten years ago. 
But the regular churches and chapels are only fairly 
filled and the mission services are mostly neglected. 

St. Faith's, All Saints', St. Anne's and St. Andrew's are 
the parishes, the first having a fairly settled population 
and position, the last lying beyond the southern limit 
of our map in the midst of new building and rapid 

Upon the very shifting element that continually 
passes through St. Faith's — here one day and gone 
the next — the Church can exert little or no influence ; 
but the permanent residents are visited assiduously, 
and it is claimed that a larger percentage than usual 
attend the church or mission hall, and also that they 
show the results in changed lives. 

In the mission hall there are purely secular enter- 
tainments, which are crowded, while semi-social, 
semi-religious meetings are held for men, which 
conclude with coffee and tobacco and are not more 
than semi-successful. A good deal of charitable 
relief is given — judiciously, the givers say, but others 
affirm the reverse. 

All Saints' parish includes a rich district towards 


Wimbledon Park, and for this there is a chapcl-of-ease 
on West Hill, Putney. This rich man's church is well 
attended, and is a gold mine from which funds are 
drawn for all the poorer churches round, especially for 
the work carried on in its own parish on the lower 
ground, where stands the old and still picturesque 
village of Wandsworth, almost imbedded now in new 
building. As usual with the old villages, there arc here 
a large number of small beer-houses, and these are 
the scene of much drinking and some fighting. The 
village contains a good deal of poverty, pardy of the 
old cottage-type, and pardy consisting of low and 
disreputable newcomers, a shifting set, occupying 
common lodging-houses or tenements. In the new 
streets which are situated midway between the low-lying 
parts and West Hill, there is a large and growing element 
of clerks with small means and others, such as theatrical 
or music-hall people. Altogether it is a rather difficult 
population for Church work, and, amongst the mass, 
little success can be claimed. Nevertheless, a quite 
large and respectable congregation gathers, morning 
and evening, in the quaint old eighteenth century 
church, so much so that a new portion is being added 
to it (1900). 

St. Anne's, Wandsworth, is an extensive and actively 
worked parish, gathering a large middle-class congre- 
gation as the result or one incumbent's work ; for 
previously the huge church was empty. Yet the 
results are not altogether satisfactory, as the middle 
class, though needing religion badly to help Mull, 
pinched lives,' are difficult to reach, and the cleavage 
between them and the poor is even greater than that 
which comes between poor and rich. The poor do 
not attend the services at the church nor are they 
found at the mission-room. A mission church is to 
be built. I shall speak later of the work of the 
Nonconformists here. 



Further on up the valley of the Wandle, as we 
approach the southern boundary of London, the 
Church of England was first in the field, but the 
Baptists have now built a church — not a mission hall 
— ^which promises success. In this region soup is not 
yet rejected by the poor, and the parish church 
provides it in large quantities. * Certainly it pauperises 
the people * (said the vicar), * but we get hold of them 
in this way. It is worth the risk,' and he speaks of 
the charitable funds at their disposal as the * saving 
of a poor parish like this.' 

The vicar analyzes his people, and then considers 
what the motives are that bring to church such of them 
as come. He distinguishes various classes of parish- 
ioners: (i) the very poor and the vicious: labourers 
and costers, gipsies, thieves and prostitutes ; (2) the 
rather poor : builders' labourers and those working at 
market gardening ; (3) a mixture in certain streets of 
artisans and labourers; (4) the fairly comfortable: clerks 
and artisans ; and (5) at the top, some business men, 
but not the heads or businesses. 

Large numbers go by train to their work ; thirteen 
hundred before eight o'clock in the morning, by the 
workmen's trains ; the clerks between eight and nine ; 
and the few privileged ones an hour later. All return 
between six and nine in the evening. 

Among these people some, he says, attend church 
from habit or fashion, some from loyalty to the parson, 
some for what they can get, and some because of what 
they have been taught. The first and last reasons 
produce the greatest numbers. Those who have the 
habit, or think it still the fashion to go to church, 
are new-comers from the country. Those that have 
been taught came, as children, under the influence of 
his predecessor, and have been retained. The bulk 
never attend at either church or chapel, unless it can 
be counted to ther" endance if they stand for 


a while on the fringe of one of the numerous outdoor 
services that are held in this neighbourhood* The 
preceding analysis of the people, and the motives that 
bring a section of them to church, will apply not to 
his parishioners alone, but to the whole district. 

The gipsy poor, as a floating population, have long 
been here. They come to church to be married and on 
a recent Whit Sunday the church was crowded for 
a gipsy wedding. But they never come at other times. 

The Baptists, Wesleyans, and G>ngr^ationalists all 
have large and prosperous congregations in Wands- 
worth, their three places of worship being on East Hill 
and its continuations, where there is a perfect string 
of churches of all denominations. These churches, 
and especially that of the Baptists, are still vigorous, 
though no longer thronged as was the case before the 
advent of the new population brought about the partial 
departure of the old. In their efforts to evangelize 
the neighbouring poor, and to supply the supposed 
religious needs of^ the incoming people, they have 
built mission hall after mission hall, and their young 
people stand up to sing, and preach, and pray at the 
corners of the streets. *The results are not easy to 
trace.' The people are found * very difficult to move.* 
^ Small clerks and City people are almost more stubborn 
and difficult to reach than the working classes. They 
make Sunday a day of pleasure simply, and are off 
rowing and cycling. They won't be visited, and they 
can't be missionized. They would look upon an open- 
air service in their street as an insult.* Not that they 
are * bad people,' but that they have ^ ceased to reckon 
with the non-material side of life.' The Baptists have 
one of these missions, the Wesleyans two, and the 
Congregationalists three. The activities of even the 
Presbyterian Church are expended largely upon mission 
work amongst the neighbouring poor, and they, too, 
speak of the 'godless middle class,* and recognise 


the unsatisfactory character of the work of their own 
and other Churches. The candid avowal by one, that 
' the mission services are not well attended, and (even 
so) chiefly by women, and only kept up by constant 
attention,' applies, I believe, equally to all. 

The Presbyterian visitors are strictly forbidden to 
suggest attendance at church as a return for relief^ 
but the good ladies cannot be prevented from giving 
shillings, and, on the whole, there is a good deal of 

* competition in giving,* and of ^subsidy by way of 
relief,' while a special point is made of there being 

* no collection,' out of regard for those who * cannot 
afford to pay for their religion.' The whole state of 
affairs appears to be summed up in the words of one 
witness, * appalling bribery,' and in truth most of this 
mission work bears the character of galvanized activity 
without one spark of vitality. Not after this fashion 
will spiritual destitution ever be met. In printed 
reports results are claimed which cannot be substan- 
tiated; and it could hardly be otherwise, for to fail 
touches the honour of religion, and to put the best 
possible fece on the matter is very natural. Unless 
it be used for purposes of begging, such * economy 
of truth ' is, perhaps, even excusable, but to us in 
conversation the admissions of failure have been 
unusually frank. 

The Baptist congregation consists of (i) middle 
class (the leaders) ; (2) clerks, and others comfortably 
off (the bulk) ; and (3) working class (a considerable 
section). The Congregationalist Church is strong and 
rich, with a history which goes back to the sixteenth 
century. Both it and the Wesleyan Church stand 
socially higher than do the Baptists, and rely mainly 
on their missions for keeping in touch with the people. 

In this respect the Wesleyans claim special success 
with their children's penny-banks, the savings in which 
revolutionize the dress of the children, and enable 


them to pay their quota towards holiday expenses. 
There is also a ^step-girls'* club, with no less than 
eighty members, all employed in this form of service 
for tne servantless, which throws a good deal of light 
on the social character of the district. 

The Primitive Methodists have a chapel, and the 
Friends a characteristically neat little meeting-house, 
standing side by side in the High Street, and there is 
also a Unitarian church, of which the regular members 
are middle class or wealthy, but which attracts a fair 
gathering of thoughtful working-class people on Sunday 
evening by the merits of the addresses given by the 
minister, who has been seventeen years at this post. 
The Salvation Army is likewise represented here, its 
corps consisting of working-class people, not the 
poorest. It is described as being most successful with 
'those who have slipped down.* 

In addition there are several independent Missions, 
but they exhibit no special features, and attain no 
great success. One only stands apart from the rest as 
being not so much a mission as a private-venture 
church. A man of business, a man of some means, 
a writer of poems and stories and articles in the 
Nonconformist papers, a man who, beginning as an 
amateur, has become a past-master in the art and 
practice of preaching, and has stood up in pulpits of 
almost all denominations : such is the leader and creator 
of the church which goes by the name of Bramblebury 
Hall. The situation for this hall was chosen as 
being in the centre of a new district, as yet insufficiently 
served. This preacher and writer himself designed 
and found the funds to build ^his beautiful hall,' 
and opened it without other preparation. ^ Here is 
a hall,' he said in effect, ^ here are my services, come 
if you like ' — and they came. He preaches * the Bible 
only,' and his congregation is drawn from those who 
live in the surrounding streets. They are civil 


servants, retired or active shopkeepers, commissioned 
or salaried commercial travellers — ^men who easily 
keep up appearances, to whom respectability is no 
efibrt, and whose black coat covers no starvation. 
Amongst them young married couples abound. Those 
come to him who shun High Church or, indeed, any 
form of ritual, and share his intolerance of those 
* to whom ' (as they put it) * the Bible is nothing.' 
Yet the Church of England, for the reason that it is 
so strong, is more friendly to him than are the chapels, 
who ^question his authority,' although, as he says, 
' each one of us speaks with authority as he has it from 
above.' His neighbours, however, appear to draw 
some fine distinctions between the church and the 
man, being willing to recognise the latter, but not the 
former. His people, thinking that all invocation of 
God should be spontaneous, carry their dislike to 
ritual to the point of objecting to a ^ fixed prayer* in 
the morning services. A definite position of this 
kind held collectively, would seem to stamp this body 
of worshippers as a * Church ' ; that is, as something 
more than an * audience.' Be it Church or audience, the 
working classes do not seem to be represented in it. 
The poor are not touched at all. 

To learn about the poor and their homes, and still 
more to gain any idea of the lives of the low rough 
characters who congregate in the valley of the Wandle, 
it is best to go to the City missionaries who visit fi-om 
house to house. In the case I have in mind, the 
missionary makes the round of his district in five 
months. His habit is to start at ten in the morning, 
and he gives five hours each day to visiting. His 
district is not a very low one ; the class of people in 
it being bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers and their 
labourers, for * never was there such a place for present 
and prospective building.' He himself has been at 
work here seven years, but for seventeen years before 


he came the district had been systematically visited. 
With him there were at first twelve houses which 
refused admittance, but hostility has completely broken 
down and all now receive him kindly. The majority 
are indifferent to religion, and when inside a house 
he has to spend a long time over the private joys 
and sorrows of the family before he * can get a word in 
for the Lord.' On washing days he cannot enter ; 
at most he can ^ leave a thought.' The woman comes 
out covered with soap-suds, which she wipes off to 
shake hands. *No time for me^ I see, to-day, Mrs. 
Brown, so 1 won't come in, but just think of this over 
the wash-tub. You are washing the clothes^ but there 
is a text that says " wash me^ and I shall be whiter 
than snow." ' 

At his Sunday services in the open-air a good many 
men listen, and one or two who have been converted 
are now themselves among the speakers. Even those 
who do not believe tolerate his meetings, and will not 
let them be disturbed by outsiders. He ascribes his 
success in dealing with working men to * witty repartee 
and sanctified common sense.' The service in his 
mission hall consists of *a prayer, jolly hymns, an 
address and a chapter of the Word.' The usual 
excuse for non-attendance is Mook at my clothes 
guv'nor,' and his answer is ^ you'd soon enough have 
clothes if you wanted them ; try giving up a pot of 
beer per day.' 

For men he considers three quarts a day not unusual 
among builders' labourers ; which at 4^/ a quart would 
be I J a day. Such a one he would call a heavy drinker, 
but not a drunkard. He says he knows quite two 
hundred from his district who absorb their twelve half 
pints on Sunday. 

Another missionary concentrates his influence on 
a small district, which he traverses in six weeks. To 
extend his area would be, he says, ^ no comfort to him, 


nor help to those he visits/ He has in this district twc 
colonies of gipsies, costers, flower sellers, and the like. 
In Summer the gipsies go to fairs, and before the start 
for Epsom in the Derby week the place is a pan- 
demonium. The houses are many of them owned by 
the richer members of the clan ; and room is found foi 
vans, with wheels or without, in which the poorei 
members crowd. The gipsies regard their quarters as 
their castle. They never lack food. 

Apart from the gipsies the inhabitants of the lout 
streets are described as door-step cleaners, hog-wasfa 
gatherers, labourers, drunkards, and loose characters* 
The landlords' agents are not particular about character; 
rent is paid irregularly and evictions are frequent, the 
goods being put into the street. 

This missionary, making a comparison with West- 
minster where he was stationed for twenty yeara 
describes Wardley Street as being worse than any part 
of Westminster isy but not worse than it waSy and adds, 
that here there is growing up, and being manufactured 
a class like that which was to be found in the slums oi 
Westminster twenty years ago. He recognises some 
of them as the very same people, while others hav( 
come from Chelsea and Battersea, but considers thai 
the bulk have been reared on the spot. 

Wardley Street and Lydden Grove are perhaps tht 
worst of these low streets, and our own notes con- 
cerning the former read : " Houses two-storeyed, most 
of them flush with the pavement ; a low commor 
lodging-house on one side and a yard full of wheellesi 
gipsy vans on the other, each inhabited by a family 
There is throughout the street a family to almost everj 
room, and a great number of loafers hang about at th( 
corner — men who work either not at all, or only or 
market days (Fridays and Saturdays)." 




The low land on the western bank of the Wandle 
is practically unbuilt upon as far as Merton Road, and 
the few streets that have crept on to it share in some 
degree the character of those that have been built on 
the opposite side of the stream. As the land rises 
towards Putney Heath so the inhabitants rise in the 
social scale. The parishes of St. Stephen, St. Michael 
and St. Paul (with St. Barnabas) are remarkable for their 
admixture of classes, all sections being represented, from 
* dowager duchess to fourpenny dosser,' and even in 
a single road ^ one end may be wealthy, and the Church 
be giving relief at the other.' The vicar of St. Michael 
took a complete census of his parish, going himself 
into every house, and found one hundred and sixty two 
families keeping servants, one hundred and twenty- 
three without servants, living in houses of {^^^ 
average rental, and five hundred and thirty-nine more 
acconunodated in two hundred and forty-nine 
tenements of one to four rooms each. Of the families 
with servants, thirty-six attended the fashionable church 
of Holy Trinity belonging to All Saints* parish (which 
is on the hill just above), thirty-four came to him 
at their own parish church, twenty-four went to 
St. Stephen's, and seven to St. Paul's ; fifty-four 
belonged to various Nonconformist Churches, and 
seven were Roman Catholics. He thus accounts for 
every one of the one hundred and sixty-two * servant 
keeping' families, and we must suppose that amongst 
them there would be some with whom pleasure had 
the upper hand of piety, and whose members, or at 
any rate many of them, would be only nominal 
adherents of any Church. 

As to the families without servants, no particulars 
are given, perhaps accurate information could not be 


obtained, but he sums up the position by sajrinj 
that * churches and sermons alone are no good. It ii 
like pouring water on a duck's back. Practica 
sympathy and friendship with the people in theii 
homes is the only way to win sympathy for thi 
Church.' It is with this aim that he has visited ever] 
house, and by these means that he has succeeded ii 
fairly filling the church he has built, towards the cos 
of which he obtained some support fi-om the poorei 
people as well as from the rich. His success i* 
entirely parochial in character, and those who responc 
must come to the church ; no mission service h 

The large congregation at St. Stephen's is Evan 
gelical rather than parochial, being mainly drawn fron 
those who abjure the High Church practices in som< 
of the adjacent parishes. An attempt is made to read 
the poor by a mission church, and a few of them ar< 
attracted in this way, but much is given — * too much, 
as the vicar admits. Taking the parish as a whole 
the * great and growing neglect of Sunday observance, 
is noted, and of this river parties, golf, cycling, &c. 
are regarded, not as the causes, but the symptoms 
although they are specially prevalent here owing to tb 
opportunities which this district offers. 

In the southernmost of these three parishes th< 
work is curiously divided ; the church of St. Pau 
catering for the rich, and relying for success on goo< 
music, short sermons, * moderate ' ritual, and a beauti 
ful church ; while St. Barnabas is the mission church 
the hours of service being shared between the two 
The rich, as a rule, only come in the morning ; but, i 
earnest church-goers, taking early communion, wil 
come twice. The evening service at St. Paul's ha 
thus been abandoned, because no one came to it ; anc 
* evensong,* now at four p.m., is ^ sadly empty.' Oi 
the other hand, at St. Barnabas no one came to morninj 


service, and it has been given up, whereas for evensong 
(at seven), the place is * about full.* There is here no 
lack of good visitors and helpers. The district is 
thoroughly- visited on behalf of the church, and a good 
deal seems to be given by the visitors both in kind 
and in money. To compete with the public-houses 
the Church has established a working-man's club, in 
which drink is supplied. Music and dancing are 
allowed, and the club is open on Sunday ; but no 
drink is sold then till after seven p.m. There are 
one hundred and thirty members, and the subscription 
is 1 05 (id per annum. This club does not quite pay 
its way. 

There seem to be no Nonconformist churches of any 
importance in these parishes. Fair numbers go to 
neighbouring chapels, but there is not any * command- 
it^ personality ' amongst the Nonconformist ministers 
of the vicinity, and so the Church of England occupies 
the field. One little unsectarian mission Aere is, carried 
on by * a band of workers who for love of the work 
and the welfare of their fellow-men and women devote 
their time and energy * to this cause ; and there is 
a rather remarkable Roman Catholic mission church 
which from one of the poorest has become one of the 
richest in London. It was founded fifty years ago to care 
for the poor Irish who worked in the market gardens 
at Wandsworth. Very few members of the old con- 
gregation remain, but two of them became rich, and 
one of these has paid ;^20,ooo out of his own pocket 
for the building of the new church, while the other 
has provided the presbytery. 

The church, which is incomplete, will be a fine 
building when finished. It has taken seven years to 
reach its present stage, Roman Catholics being more 
ready to build gradually and more willing to wait, in 
order that the final result may be a house of God 
worthy of the name. 

V 14 



Remarking on the peculiarities of Putney, the priest 
spoke of the old residents who support the Church of 
England and keep to themselves, and of the new who 
are only gradually shaking down. Nobody knows 
who his neighbour is. The old distrust the new, and 
the new distrust one another. This social difficulty, 
he claims, affects the Church of England more than 
the Church of Rome. Rich and poor may attend 
different churches or come at different hours to the 
same church, but social barriers ought to be entirely, 
and with the Catholics to a great extent are, broken 
down by the sense of equality before God. * My 
people,' said the priest, ' have to find out me, not 
I them. From youth up they are taught their religious 
duties, which are the same for all ; and the primary 
duty is of the congregation to the Church, not of the 
Church to the congregation,' This mission was moved 
into Putney from Wandsworth and the poor do not 
come so freely as they did. The excuse given is want 
of clothes. But, the priest says, ' it is really laziness,* 
and, like the missionary, he tells them to ' drink a little 
less and they will soon have the clothes.' 

From an ecclesiastical standpoint, Putney proper is 
one large old parish with three churches (St. Mary, 
St. John, and All Saints), the services of which are 
arranged to suit various religious tastes ; but they arft 
none of them satisfactory to Evangelicals, who eithar 
transfer their allegiance to St. Stephen's or support 
' Emmanuel Church ' belonging to the * Free Church 
of England,' a body with very strong anti-Ritualistic and 
anti-Popery views. In addition, the Nonconformist 
bodies are here fully represented, and join in the 
struggle for the souls of pleasure-seeking Putney. The 
results are, however, most unsatisfactory. Our sources 
of information are peculiarly full, and of our informants. 
several have done life-long service here : the vicar for 
forty years, a Congregationalist minister for twenty-fivcj; 


and a Presbyterian for twenty-one. The new men are 
impatient ; the old depressed and out of heart. All are, 
or have been, energetic, each in his own way, and all 
tell practically the same story : the work is hopeless. 

The vicar says, 'As to religion, those who are in 
front of the tapestry, and can see the general pattern, 
win perhaps be less pessimistic than I who am behind, 
and notice more the knots and ragged ends ; ' but he 
adds that he cannot complain as to his own position 
in particular, this being * much like the others.' The 
three churches maintain on the average the number 
of their attendants, but the population has grown 
enormously and the old parish church by the river, 
where the population is thickest, has lost ground. 
There is now in the whole parish a population of over 
twenty thousand, and sufficient unoccupied land to 
accommodate ten thousand more in two-storey houses. 

Spurgcon is said to have spoken of the Thames 
valley as a district given up to the Devil and High 
Churchism, and such is the view of the Baptist minister 
as regards Putney, which he compares very unfavour- 
ably with North London, as do all the Nonconformists. 
The Devil is represented by the sporting and pleasuring 
element which here seems paramount in the population. 
The Baptist church, however, secures a small 
respectable middle-class membership, and quietly goes 
its way. Its congregation is recruited from South 
Fulham, where there is a dearth of Free Churches. 

The Wesleyans built boldly, and have a large church 
with a comparatively small congregation of strictly 
middle-class people, dubbed by others 'rich and 
exclusive.' Of themselves they say ' Not the aristocrats, 
nor the poor,' adding, 'We hardly touch the poor at all." 
They had mothers' meetings, but no one came ; and 
instead their young people have given 'old people's 
tea parties,' a great success, though * enjoyed perhaps 
most by the givers.' They have open-air services in 
V 14 * 


Summer on the Heath, to which 'a few stop to listen and 
then go away,' being 'pleasure seekers,' The Wesleyans 
are nearly all country-born people who, having acquired 
the habit of chapel-going in the country, continue it 

The Presbyterian minister, too, speaks of the 
'atmosphere of pleasure-seeking' and 'the low moral 
level of Putney, though mainly a middle-class district,' 
and refers to it again as ' a great place for sporting men, 
and swarming with bookmakers.' ' The churches do 
not prosper. The middle class here are as indifferent 
to religious observances as the poor elsewhere.' In one 
road only two out of twenty-four families, in another 
only six out of a hundred, could be counted as regular 
church-goers. 'They may say they attend, but if fine 
they like a walk, and if it is wet the rain prevents.' 
And some who may find the Church of England * too 
High,' consider the Free Churches ' bad form,' and so 
slip through and go nowhere. His own congregation 
comes from a wide area, and is almost exclusively rich. 
Its members have attempted no mission work, not even 
a Sunday school, but a 'campaign is to be opened" on 
the dwellers in the new houses which are springing 
up between the church and the river. In addition to 
the unsatisfactory character of the people, the minister 
thinks religious life in Putney has suffered from the 
absence of unity — of anything that will bring the 
different bodies on to common ground- 
But this, in a practical though minor way, has been 
accomplished at Unity Church, which was formed by 
a combination between Baptists and Congregationalists, 
and which is about to absorb another Congregationalist 
church. This latter, being smaller and situated on the 
lower ground, will be turned into a mission. The 
old minister of the larger church, who is about to 
retire, is, like all the rest, unfavourably Impressed by the 
new population, describing them as fast, sporting and 




theatrical, and he, too, finds religious work in Putney 
amongst all classes most discouraging, and the middle 
classes almost as hard to move as the poor. They are, 
he says, without interest in literature, culture or local 
affairs, and unwilling to attend evening meetings of 
any kind. He corroborates what others have said of 
the weakness resulting from lack of unity of spirit 
amongst the Churches, and complains that the Church 
of England fails to lead, except that the souped 
and pauperised poor are solemnly warned against 
Dissent. Those of the poor who attend religious 
services are mostly bought, and a 'cadging and 
ungrateful spirit' is the result: 'Going from church 
to church with the same piteous and untruthful tale, 
they suck the orange dry, and then throw it away.' 
Religious effort among them becomes an almost 
complete failure. His church opened a mission-room, 
but no one came to it ; and ' United Gospel Tent 
Missions ' have been held with empty benches. Every 
house in the poorer streets was visited, and many 
promises received, but of the hundreds that promised 
not one turned up. The only success to be recorded 
in this neighbourhood has been in the temperance 
cause. The Gospel Temperance Society took two 
thousand pledges in its first year, and its Saturday 
evening meetings in winter still draw an attendance 
of about five hundred. 

Emmanuel Free Church of England has been 
mentioned as supplying the Gospel pure and undefilcd 
to those who are offended by High Church ritual, 
and on these lines it still competes with the Putney 
parish churches ; but St. Stephen's, its nearest neigh- 
bour, which was High, is now Low, and so the raison 
d'etre of Emmanuel Church is partly gone. At present 
St. Stephen's has left them their school children, who 
had been got together by arduous competition. *A 
vicious system,' said the minister with great frankness ; 


*we started two treats and got more children, but 
all the others now give two also ; all the churches 
in Putney are alike in their hunt for the children, and 
the parents think they do you a fevour if they send 
their children to you.' * Well,' a parent will say, * if 
you are not pleased with my child, so-and-so's have 
a better treat than yours, and I shall send her to their 

Putney seems to be badly off for young people's 
organizations. There is no Polytechnic, and the 
Y.M.C.A. has, we are told, been narrowed into failure 
by being in extreme Evangelical hands. There is a 
free public library, the gift of Sir George Newnes, but 
litde is read except fiction. 

Rich and poor are closely intermingled in Putney, 
because of the near approach of the high ground to 
the river. The hangers-on of the pleasure-seekers 
who find their way to the river side are a degraded 
set, and the action of the Churches does not tend to 
make them less so. A London City missionary who 
works among the river-side population, and has his 
hall in the low quarter called *The Piatt,' speaks 
of deterioration owing to the advent of those turned 
out by demolitions elsewhere. Some of the men live 
on the prostitution of their wives, or on their labour 
as laundresses. Others are connected with the river 
as boatmen and boat attendants, and the rest are, or 
call themselves, labourers. The moral level is very 
low, but the missionary has a large convenient hall, 
and in the filling of it is more successful than most ; 
the rough children come to his school. The Church 
of England is the only other active agency here. 
As to the spiritual results attained he prudendy prefers 
to say nothing. Of the godlessness of the upper and 
middle classes in Putney he speaks as others do. 

Altogether there is perhaps no spot in London 
where religion plays a more unsatisfactory part than 


it does in Putney, and the lack of Christian unity 
appears to be exceptionally marked. It may seem 
incredible that men sharing, in whatever way, the same 
responsibility, and seeking to serve the same Master, 
should pass and re-pass in the streets for a quarter 
of a century and never speak, and even, we are told, 
stand together by the bed-side of the dying without 
acknowledging each other's presence ; and one's mind 
turns back to the Plymouth Brother's uncompromising 
logic, which regarded lack of unity as proof that the 
Churches were not of God. But it must in justice 
be said that this want of harmony applies only to the 
relations between the Established Church and the 
Nonconformists. Among themselves the Free Churches 
have no serious difficulties. 

It would not necessarily follow, even if the Churches 
were all of one accord, that they were of God ; nor 
if of God that it would be given to them to win the 
world for Him, but their claim to be heard and to be 
trusted would stand on firmer ground, and we should 
no longer eagerly look round to find some other road. 

As the unsatisfactory state of things in South 
Battersea has brought about the Pentecostal League, 
so in Wandsworth and Putney there was a great 
Gospel revival conducted by Moody and Sankey when 
these Evangelists visited England some years ago. 
The success of their meetings was so extraordinary 
and the fervour so great that to commemorate and 
continue the work Down Lodge Mission (unde- 
nominational) was established, and the Congregationalists 
built the large permanent mission hall, which was 
given the name of ^ Memorial Hall.' 

The empty benches of these halls are a great contrast 
to Mr. Moody's crowded tents, and, except in the 
hearts of a few, little seems to remain of that great 
wave of religious sentiment. 




The Borough of Wandsworth covers the huge 
area of 9285 acres, being, with the exception of 
Plumstead, by far the largest sanitary district in 
London. A considerable part is, of course, as yet 
unbuilt upon, but the population has increased more 
than five-fold in the last half century, and is now about 
212,000. The rateable value is over ;^ 1,400,000. 
By the new Act the Board of Works gives place to 
a Borough Council, which also absorbs the duties of 
a number of other bodies — ^Vestries, Overseers, Burial 
Boards, Library and Baths Commissioners — ^but the 
area remains practically the same. 

For sanitary purposes, the district is divided into 
five sub-divisions, viz., Clapham, Putney, Streatham, 
Tooting and Wandsworth. Each of these has its 
district office, its medical officer, surveyors and sanitary 
staff, so that although there is a head office at Elast 
Hill, the work is largely decentralized. 

The late Vestry is criticised rather severely in some 
quarters for jobbery, but on the whole the local admin- 
istration is reported as being satisfactory, steady-going, 
and rather Conservative, lacking in enterprise. When, 
however, we come to particulars, especially as to the 
building going on, there is a chorus of condemnation. 
^ Much of new housing very shoddy ; likely to breed 
slums.* ^ A great deal of vile building.' ^ New houses 
jerry built and looking miserable after a few years.* 
* Scandalous jerry building in new middle-class streets ; 
many houses in one of these streets tumbling down 
already.* * Owing to the rapid increase in population 
the jerry builder has had his chance.' ^ New houses 
vilely built.* * Housing bad,' in this place and in that, 
is an opinion often repeated. But it is not all so. 


The report from one district says, * Housing rather 
unequal, both as to the houses themselves and the 
character of the occupants. Some own their own, and 
these houses have the best appearance ; others are 
dilapidated and look quite old, though all are com- 
paratively modern.* * Housing better in some districts,* 
says another, but, it is added, they * look more respect- 
able than they really are.* In other parts the new 
building is reported as quite satisfactory. ^ Good.* 
* All that can be desired.* So might it all be. There 
is a considerable amount of crowding, and everywhere 
rents are rising. ^ More room is badly wanted. There 
is a great demand for small houses,* but ground rents 
are high, and it is said that small building does 
not pay. 

Health on the whole is good ; death-rate low. 
Open spaces are plentiful. Public baths have been 
recently provided for Wandsworth, and there are 
public libraries. 

The administration of the Poor Law in the Wands- 
worth and Clapham Union is what is termed * sympa- 
thetic ; ' * rather lavish with out-relief.* ^ Too tenderly 
administered,* says one of the relieving officers. The 
policy is reported to be one of large out-relief, not 
accompanied by adequate inquiry and discrimination, 
so that the number of improper cases receiving out- 
relief is large. Since the recent order of the Local 
Government Board suggesting more adequate relief, 
but greater discrimination, the Board (this critic says) 
has followed the former advice, neglecting the latter. 
A more kindly view is that they * do their utmost to 
relieve out-door distress.* The Guardians include four 
representatives of labour who would not send anyone 
to the house, and are ready, it is asserted, to give out- 
door relief to almost anyone. But the administration 
is not without its defenders, both as to the policy 


pursued and as to the care with which it is carried out 
The indoor poor are not numerous, but include 
a considerable contingent of able-bodied loafers, to deal 
with whom some * penal and repellant ' scheme to force 
them to work is regarded as necessary. Some have 
been sent to the special workhouse for able-bodied 
males at Kensington. 


DESCRIPTIVE NOTES. Map T. (\'ol. V , Past U.. Chapter III.). 
Wandsworth and Putney. 

Adioining Mapi—N. FMlhaio (\'ol. UN). E. BalttrKaand Cliphim (p. nD. 

aeoeral Character.— The map comprisss part of Putney and Wajids- 
worth. Every class is represented from 'yellow* to 'black.' The rich 
live on and around Putney Hill on the wesl side of the map, the midiUe 
and lower middle classes on (he high groond south of East Hill and in 
the new streets north of West Hill and between Putney Sialion and the 
river, the poor in the Waodle Valley and on the low ground by the river- 
side. Newness is a feature of middle class Putney. The rich and the 
poor are those who have been there longest. 

Poverty Areas.— In Putney itself there is old village poverty con- 
nected with labourers in market gardens and riverside work ; in Wands- 
worth Plain there are more poor people of the same sort, and a patch of 
black caused by the presence of low-class prostitutes ; off the Waiple Way 
is long-eslablisbed ' labouring 'poverty, and south of High Street a newer 
class of poor inhabitants, chiefly labourers employed in the bttilding that 
is taking place on either side of the Wacdle Valley. 

Employments. — The rich and the middle class are either ' retired ' or 
employed in the City : they go into business by the District or London 
and South Western Railway services. There are also a large number of 
theatrical people attracted by the late trains on both lines. Employment 
within the locality is found in gas works, piano works, flonr, paper and 
other mills in the Wandle Valley, and in house building. Wandsworlh 
in old dajs was known for a settlement of Huguenot cloth weavers. Their 
industry has gOLte : only their tombs remain. 

Housing and Rents.— In the new streets of two-storeyed houses cET 
the west side of Wandsworth Common the rents asked ace £35 lo ^40 
a year, they are tenanted by people of good working or lower middle-class, 
lodgers paying about 5s for two rooms with the use of a bath. In the 
working-class part of Wandsworth gs dd '13 asked for four rooms, and il is 
complained that there was a rise of 21 per week in the Qve years preceding 
1899. New flats are a feature of the river side. On the low-lying ground 
of the Wandle Valley slums are in process of formation, doe largely 10 
ill-built houses on ' made ' land ; a six-roomed house can be bad here for 
7t. The worst part of this district lies along Carratt L.ane, outside the 
south-eastern edge of the map. 

Markets.— High Street. Putney, and Wandsworth High Street are the 
chief markets of the district. They are also shopping streets lor the 

Public -houses.— Licensed houses cluster thickly round All Saints' 
Church, which is the centre of Old Wandsworth ; another group is in 
Putney High Street. It is again possible to pick out old-established poor 
streets by the number of beerhouses. ' Jug ' licences are most frequent 
on either side of the York Road on the eastern side of the map, and 
grocers' licences in East Hill, High Street, Wandsworlh, West Hill, and 
the Upper Richmond Road, which are all parts of the same long main 
load runniog East and West across the district. 

Places of Amusement. — Though many theatrical people live in 
Putney and Wandsworlh, the only local place of cnterlainmenl is the 
Wandsworth Theatre of Varieties in South Street. Falham Theatre is 
just across Putney Bridge and easily accessible. Here the river begins to 
be A • place o,' 


Open Spaces. — ^There is plenty of open space at present, with the 
river on the North ; market-gardens, and Putney Heath and IBarnei 
Common on the West ; the large fields and gardens attached to privata 
houses on the eastern slope of Putney Hill; and the open Wandle Valley 
on the South ; but mucn of it will soon be covered with houses. The 
market gardens on the north side of Putney Brid^ Road have been 
converted into a public park, and it would be well if the low groond on 
either side of the Wandle River could be secured for the same pnipon. 
Wandsworth Common touches the district on the East. 

Health is good except in the Wandle Valley, which is on a bed of damp 
clayey alluvial soil. Putney itself is on sand and gravel and so, with the 
exception of a narrow band of London clay, is the rising groand oo the 
eastern bank of the Wandle. The western bank, which rises to PatnOT 
Heath, is chiefly of London clay, interspersed with patches of gravel nntfl 
the highest ground is reached. Putney Heath is all on gravel. 

Changes of population.— In Putney the wealthy are moving into 

the regions of fashion in West London or out of the metropolis altogether. 
They are replaced by a well-to-do class forming a semi-genteel aristocraejr. 
The ' red ' streets north of the railway tend downwards. The newest 
streets round the market gardens are frankly ' pink.' On the other hand 
there is an increase of comfortable houses for a ' red * class on West Hill 
and off the Kingston Road, which are probably drawing away the bettar 
tenants from what used to be ' red ' streets between Richmond Road and 
the river. The poor drift in from Battersea along the river side, and then 
turn South along the Wandle Valley. 

Means of Locomotion.— The District Railway gives commnnicatkm 

with West and Inner London on the North, and Wimbledon on the South. 
The Windsor and Richmond branch of the London and South Western 
Railway cuts the map East and West, with stations at Wandsworth and 
Putney. Horse tramways run from North Street vid Battersea PaA 
Road and from East Hall vid Lavender Hill to Westminster Bridge and 
the Borough. Further facilities by means of electric trams (needed every- 
where) arc wanted in particular along the Upper Richmond Road giving 
access to Richmond on the west, and eastward in conjunction with a pin^ 
posed line up East Hill leading to High Street, Clapham. A line aumg 
the Kingston Road would open up Richmond Park and Wimbledon 
Common, and another southwards along Garratt Lane would help the poor 
districts of Summerstown and Lower Tooting and prevent their becoming 
to South- West London what Hackney Wick is to the North-East. 

[Note.— For Places of Worship in Wandsworth and Putney, see list in Chapter Il.t 
p. 195.] 


K -^f 

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'\\' Xl^'te '*^— A/" 





(i) A Wesley an inauguration Service on Sunday Evening. 

There was a large audience in the new church, many 
no doubt being there from other congregations. The 
preacher, who was the leader of the circuit, showed 
a strong tendency to flatter his flock, which is a common 
weakness with Wesleyans. The sermon consisted of 
congratulation from first to last, only asking from his 
hearers continued efforts to spread amongst others the 
light vouchsafed to them. Something must be allowed 
for the occasion, but the effect was rather sickening, 
and it is quite impossible to suppose that anyone could 
receive spiritual benefit from such a discourse — happy 
if not the worse for it. After the service there was 
a ' ten-minutes prayer meeting ' — guaranteed not to 
exceed that limit of time. For this about half stayed. 
Two members of the congregation were put up to deliver 
the prayers. 

On the following Sunday evening at the same church 
the regular minister was preaching. The large building 
was not crowded, but was well filled. I thought there 
were over one thousand persons present, mostly lower 
middle-class people with, no doubt, many of the serious 
working class who are indistinguishable from them ; 
smartly or carefully dressed, rather young than old ; 
practised chapel-goers, accustomed to hymn singing. 
This church, which is one of the latest and best that has 
been built by the Wesleyans, has an architectural * choir ' 


behind the pulpit or platform of the minister. At i 
extreme end is the organ, lifted on high, and from it 
the pulpit slope down the seats of those who lead 1 
singing— a choir of about forty voices, male and fern: 
Beneath this galleiy are the vestries and oEBces of < 
church. The minister sat alone. The choir led, 1 
the congregation threw in a great volume of sound, w 
good taste and knowledge of singing. The ministt 
text was taken from the Epistle to the Hebrews, and 
spoke of ' the writer ' in place of saying St. Paul, expi 
sing a hope that no one would be shocked when he s 
it was supposed to be not Paul but ApoIIos who WT' 
this Epistle. It was not at all in St. Paul's style, 
added. The text concerned the anchorage we sho 
have ' on Christ beyond the veil.' He pointed out tl 
the author of the Epistle used the word ' hope ' (typif 
by the anchor) where St. Paul would have used ' fail 
and said that hope was the faith that looked to ' 
future. The sermon was an eloquent appeal address 
he admitted, especially to young men of his own age 
appears to be under thirty) to lay hold of this si 
anchorage in order to ride out the waves of uncertai: 
and the storms of doubt and temptation to which all w 
liable. An excellent sermon ; honest, well thought c 
and well delivered ; and deserving of the great congre 
tion that has been gathered here. 

(2) Pentecostal League. 

Exeter Hall was full on Wednesday evening. May 2 
1900, for the Annual Meeting. The audience appea 
to be almost entirely lower middle and working cla 
perhaps one-third were men. There were on the p 
form a few ministers of religion, but no one of note, i 
many lady members of the League, wearing what r 
perhaps be called the League bonnet. There were to 
•five minutes'' addresses by representative clergy s 
ministers of all denominations. A Primitive Methot 
from South Wales, a Baptist minister from Cambric 
shire, and an English Presbyterian made up the 1 
The speakers were warned that five minutes was 
Umit, but no one had to be pulled up ; they each testi 
to the value the League had been to themselves and tl 


congregations. After each speech a rousing h3rmn was 
heartily sung to organ accompaniment. Those present 
seemed interested, and interjected aspirations were 
conmion, very much as at a Salvation Army meeting. 
A short address from one of the lady missioners of the 
League brought the miscellaneous s{>eaking to a close. 

Mr. Reader Harris, who presided, made many Uttle 
speeches, managing and controlling everything. Among 
other things he read out a long list of well-known people 
who had sent letters expressing sympathy with the 
objects of the League, these including the two Arch- 
bishops, the Bishops of London and Rochester, 
Dr. Horton, Mr. Hugh Price Hughes, the Moderator of 
the Presbyterian body ; the ex-Chairman of the Baptist 
Union, &c., &c. 

The chairman's address was the final one, and was 
followed by a prayer and a short pause for silent prayer. 
Then, almost witnout an interval, he asked all to remain 
with eyes closed, in the attitude of prayer, and those 
who wished to make a special supplication to the Spirit 
for any gift of which thev stood in special need, to rise 
from their seats, still with closed eyes. Large numbers 
did so ; nearly half of those present. A final hymn, the 
collection, and a benediction said by one of the ministers 
present, brought the meeting to an end. Any wishing 
to join were invited to come forward and do so. Very 
few showed signs of responding, but perhaps most had 
been already enrolled. 

In July of the same year, I attended one of a series of 
meetings of the League, also at Exeter Hall, on a week- 
day. ^ It was the afternoon meeting, and Mrs. Reader 
Harris was announced as the speaker. It was held in 
one of the smaller rooms. There were present some 
hundred and twenty persons of whom about twelve 
were men. Men were hardly expected. Mr. Harris 

Eresidec^ however, and took the principal part, speaking 
efore and at a greater length than Mrs. Harris. All the 
women who sat on the platform wore dresses of simple, 
neatly fitting pattern, and small black bonnets tied 
beneath the chin, amounting almost to a uniform, and 
many of those in the body of the hall were similarly 
attired; others had plain straw hats; there was no 





female finery to be seen. All had the look of being pio 
people and were difficult to class otherwise. Only 01 
or two had the air of being socially Madies/ and on 
one or two seemed to belong to * the poor,' but not a fc 
might have been either, or anything between. ** Cost 
your habit as your purse affords " is not the plan adopt< 
here. Mr. Harris's address was on the gifts of tl 
Spirit and doubtless had been repeated often. That 
Mrs. Harris was more original. She took as text 
sentence from the Book of Proverbs about hunters wl 
are too lazy to roast what they catch, which she bold 
averred bore on the same subject as the remarks of h 
husband, for we had to use the gifts properly as well s 
ask for them. It was a quiet, orderly, religious meetin 
without stress or excitement of any kind. The on 
peculiarity was a series of consecutive prayers, all qui 
short, delivered by five of those who sat on the platfon 
four women and one man speaking besides Mr. Harri 
they were short, plain, spiritual appeals, with nothii 
ecstatic or ejaculatory about them. The whole servii 
lasted rather more than an hour and broke up ve 
slowly. Those present were a friendly party and enten 
into conversation with each other, the platform peop 
moving about among the rest, while many crowd< 
round the bookstall where a considerable trade was doi 
in Mr. Harris' Sermonettes and other publications of tl 
League, including photographic portraits of its leadei 
The sermonettes sell at ^d each, or 4\d the dozen ; th( 
are very numerous, and are an armoury. Mr. Han 
often refers to them, saying, ' I have worked all th 
out ' in so and so. ' You will find the answer to th 
question ' in this or that. The subjects are such a 
' Effectual Prayer ; * ' The Baptism of the Holy Ghost 
' The possible and actual in religious experience,' ai 
there are many others. The language is simple, but 
that lies their sole power. They seem to lack the ring 
enthusiasm or of religious emotion as much as they < 
moral insight or intellectual force. It is the same so f 
as my experience goes, with his oral addresses. In the 
he descends at times to a colloquial level of small joke 
and the pose is always that of a man of superi 
education addressing uneducated or less educated peop 



— features which only make the success attained the more 
wonderful as an exhibition of the working of the Spirit 
upon men's souls to day. 

At Speke Hall the ordinary Sunday evening service 
gives place at 8 o'clock to the ' Pentecostal ' one. 
On the occasion of my visit some left, and others 
entered, for the latter service, those who had sat in 
the choir either coming down into the body of the hall 
or going away. Of those who had been present for the 
previous service, most stayed on. The organist was still 
at the organ, and we sang some hymns, sitting in our 
places. There was some effort, both before and after the 
address, to make the hymns stimulating, and the prayers 
were cast in the same direction, but I thought without 
much effect. The address of Mr. Harris bad for text 
the words ' No man cared for my soul,' or, he said, as 
it might better be translated, ' No man prays for my soul," 
but that, he added, was not the case here to-night. He 
spoke shortly, and ended by appealing to any whose 
souls had been touched by God this day to rise quietly 
in their places, we all remaining meanwhile in silent 
prayer. Those who rose were acknowledged with ' thank 
God,' and then sat down again. The process was dread- 
fully like an auction. Again and again it was our 'last 
chance,' or 'one minute more,' with the hammer raised 
as it were. The hesitation that might be felt was mini- 
mised as much as possible by the explanation that it was 
not a 'whole salvation' that was implied in the confession 
called for, but only a recognition that to them God had 
spoken in some special way that day. And when at the 
end all who had stood up were asked to do so again, 
and then to come up nearer, it seemed rather like a trap. 
But perhaps it was well understood what the action 
would involve. The number who moved forward was 
not so great as I had expected, judging from the previous 
proceedings. Perhaps some shirked at last, or possibly 
some had been supposed to move before who had not 
really done so. In these cases there is always a tendency 
to make the most of everything, and at best it was a very 
doubtful piece of religious business. 


(3) Conversions in connection with the United Methodist 

Free Church. 

A week of revival meetings in Battersea 

Park was mentioned, from which it was said fifty 
conversions had resulted, but we could not learn that 
any had become members of the church: some were 
'tramps' who had been helped into the country, and 
passed on to other churches; some were children of 
twelve to fourteen, who have been gathered into the 
Sunday school. It is evident that in these cases analysis 
is necessary. Our informant told us of his own conver- 
sion fifteen years ago at a revival meeting, when about 
forty in all were converted, of whom half have stood firm. 
He, himself, seems to have gone to the meeting with the 
intention of ' coming out.' It had been in his mind to 
do so ever since his father's death a year previously. 
Conversions such as his, which are the result of carerol 
thought, are, he thinks, usually lasting ; those which are 
due to the emotion of the moment seldom endure. 

(4) Spiritual Phenomena. 

" Conversion " must be recognised as an undoubted 
spiritual phenomenon. It may be the voice of God that 
is heard, but happily He speaks in many other ways 
also. Spiritual forces permeate life as do the physiod 
forces. Like light or heat, or electricity, or the organic 
agencies of nature, they can be induced. In this sense 
we can call spirits from the vasty deep, easily enough. 
They do come when rightly called, and are strangely 
unaccountable in their proceedings. Such phenomena 
may be of God, but to suppose that to be affected in 
these ways is to be absolutely or exclusively or even 
particularly in touch with God, is a mere delusion. 




(r) Walking across Clapham Common on Sunday 
afternoon, I fell in with two parties of the Salvation 
Army- The first and the stronger of the two offered 
nothmg out of the ordinary, but the other, a very small 
afiiair provided only with cymbals which both men and 
women used, was remarkable. A hymn was sung, into 
the reading of which, verse by verse, with comments, 
a deep-featured strong-voiced man threw a great deal of 
passion. The Unes I remember were, *I saw One 
nanging on the tree, who fixed His dying eyes on me." 
On Me, he repeated, and the words rang out. There 
was an anti-climax to this in the jolly tune to which the 
verse was set, hardly exceeded as a contrast by the gay 
fluting of a passing bicyclist, who, managing his machine 
with nis feet, performed this tour de force at the head of 
a column of his firiends, rattUng along the roadway, by 
side of which the little Salvation party and their audience 
of bcdf-a-dozen children were gathered. 

Near the larger group of Salvationists, in the centre of 
the Common, I joined a party of men closely crowded 
round one more elderly, who was seated on a chair. 
He was, I believe, a Secularist, and between him and 
some of the others a very courteous and good-humoured 
discussion was being carried on. As many as could 
hear had crowded in, for there was no speechifying or 
raising of the voice. The man talked as in a room, with 
polite deference, and without the least heat. The subject 
was, I gathered, the value of the Bible story of Creation 
as compared to any other version we had. 

Holy Trinity Church, at the east end of the Common, 
was filled with children for afternoon service — not those 
who attend the Sunday school, though they may perhaps 
have been there among the rest, but the children of the 
congregation, small and large. The rector spoke to them 
on prayer, and his words were very simple and good. 
At the other church belonging to this parish there was 


also a children's service, but those present were from the 
schools, gathered close up to the chancel-rail, with only 
a few others sitting behind. The curate talked to the 
children from the steps, and then, walking up and down 
the aisle, asked questions, helping the children to find 
the answers, on the nature and uses of temptations and 
on dangers to body and soul. 

(2) South of Clapham High Street and the Conmion, 
the ground is still largely unbuilt on, but this airiness and 
open space is not likely to last much longer. The assault 
is only just beginning, and to-day the huge solid Cubitt- 
built houses, with their gardens and splendid old trees 
and magnificent broad roads, remain almost as they were. 
But now that Lincoln House, the largest of all the 
estates, has passed into the speculative builders' hands, 
the change will probably be very rapid, and another ten 
years is scarcely likely to leave much of what still remains 
one of the most delightful and charming pieces of London. 
With the possible exception of Cheyne Walk, there is 
hardly anything in London more beautiful or more 
interesting than the old Georgian Terrace of Church 
Buildings and the old group of Georgian houses facing 
Cock pond. 

(3) The Caius College Mission building looks like, and 
indeed is, the chancel of a big church, finished off as well 
as may be and very likely never to be extended further. 
As it stands, it seems to have been built in two portions : 
first the basement, which now serves for the children's 
Sunday school, and other purposes ; and above, at a later 
period, the fragment of a church already described. In 
the basement there was a gathering of little children, and 
above, where the Sunday morning service was proceeding, 
those present were still all children, though older than 
the others, with a few adults in charge. Near by are 
handsome club premises for men and boys on one side, 
and for girls on the other. 

(4) The Methodist Free Church had had a 

May day festival, with crowning of the May Queen. 


(5) Mills' yard has been adapted for the use of 

the gipsies, stabling having been built for the horses and 
water laid on. Eight or nine family vans were standing 
in it, and at the fax end was a small round-topped hedge- 
row tent. The vans were being prepared for Easter with 
fresh coats of red and blue paint, and the cocoanut poles 
and other paraphernalia were being touched up. In the 
tent a young fellow was making clothes pegs. 

Not far from this encampment the missionary has a small 
hall. It is half of a railway arch, the other half, from 
which it is divided by a wooden partition down the 
middle, being a blacksmith's shop. Through the chinks 
and crannies near the roof the smoke from the smithy has 
penetrated and made black lines on the painted boards. 
The place holds about one hundred and fifty, and is fitted 
with desks and a platform. On the walls are texts and 
coloured mottoes. The surroundings of the hall are very 
dirty, the only approach being by an unpaved road, which 
affords access also to some stables and to a gipsy 

(6) The streets which are in course of building 

just to the north of Wardley Street are the worst of the many 
badly built new streets in the Wandle valley. They, like 
those in Fulham, near Wandsworth Bridge, are streets 
which have begun 'purple,' a rare phenomenon. The 
houses, both the bad and the comparatively good, are 
identical in character and appearance with those in 
Fulham. There is unquestionably an evil future before 
many of them. As in Fulham, so here too, building 
is perhaps proceeding too quickly for the authorities to 
exercise efficient control, otherwise what has happened 
can only be explained as the result of official corruption. 

Wardley Street itself has all the marks of ' dark blue 
and black ; * broken windows, bread strewn about, dirty 
barefooted children, doors open, women sitting on door 
steps or pavement, suckling children, and the smell of dirt 
everywhere. Lydden Grove is equally bad, but Bendon 
Valley is slightly better. The River Wandle runs along 
the west end of these streets, and the low ground on the 
opposite bank is being filled up with filthy decaying 



refuse. A cart could be seen discharging gully floshings, 
a thick, blacky stinking liquid. On the ground so raised 
streets are planned. 

On the north side of Wardley Street is a yard with six 
or seven travelling vans set up on props, not wheels, and 
fully tenanted. A magnificent gipsy queen stood at the 
door of one of the houses. 







Life and Labour of the People 

in London 


First Series: Poverty 

VOL. I. 

Part. I. East London 

Chap. I. Introdnctory 

II. Concerning the Whole 

III. Concerning the Separate 

Chap. IV. Institations 
V. Poverty 
VI. Class Relations 
VII. Pomt of View 

Part II. Central London 

Chap. I. Descriptive 
II. Covent Garden 

Chap. III. Com. Lodging Houses 
IV. Homeless Men 

Part III. Outlying London, North of the Thames 

Chap. I. Special Districts, West Chap. II. Walthamstow 
and North 

Part IV. South London 

Cuaf. I. The District Generally | Chap. II. Battersea 


East London, Central London and Battersea compared 



VOL. 11. 
Part I. London Street by Street 

Chap. I. Introduction 

II. Statistics of Povertj 

Chap. III. Classification and De- 
scription of Streets 

Part II. Appendix 

Classification and Description of the Population of London by School 

Board Blocks and Divisions 

Part I. Special Subjects 

Chap. I. Blocks of Model Dwell- 
(i^ Statistics 

(2) Influence on Character 
(.3) Sketch of Life in Build- 

Chap. II. Influx of Population 
(East London) 

III. Influx of Population 

(London generally) 

IV. The Jewish Com- 

munity (East London) 

Part II. London Children 

Chap. L Classification of Schools 
and Children 
IL Elementary Education 

Chap. IIL Secondary Education 
(i) Boys 
(2) Girls 


The Trades of East London Connected with Poverty 

Chap. I. Introduction 
IL The Docks 

III. The Tailoring Trade 

IV. Bootmaking 

V. Tailoring and Boot- 
making — East & West 

Chap. VJ. The Furniture Trade 
VI 1. Tobacco Workers 
VII L Silk Manufacture 
IX. Women's Work 
X. Sweating 


Second Series: Industry 

VOL. I. 

General Classification of the Whole Population 

Part I. The Building Trades 

Chap. I. The Whole Group 

II. The DifiEerent Sections 
III. Conditions of Emploj- 

Cbaf. IV. Organization 

V. Abuses — Social Con« 

Part II. Wood Workers 

Preliminary Statbmbnt 
Chap. I. Cabinet Makers 
II. Carriage Builders 

Chap. III. Coopers 

IV. Shipwrights 

Part III. Metal Workers 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Engineering, Boiler- 
Making, &c. 
II. Blacksmiths 

Chap. III. Other Workers in 
Iron and Steel 
IV. Workers in other 

VOL. 11. 

Part I. Precious Metals, Watches and 


Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Jewellers, Gold and 
II. Watches and Clocks 

Chap. III. Surgical, Scientific^ 
and Electrical Instru- 
IV. Musical Instruments 
and Toys 

Part 11. Sundry Manufactures 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Glass and Earthenware 
II. Chemicals 
III. Soap, Candles, Glue, &c. 

Chap. rv. Leather Dressing, &c. 
V. Saddlery and Harness 
VI. Brush Making 




Part III. Printing and Paper Trades 

Chap. IV, Stationers 

V. Booksellers and Ne 

Priliminart Statement 
Chap. I. Printers 

II. Bookbinders 
III. Paper Manufacturers 

Part IV. The Textile Trades 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Silk and Woollen 
II. Djeing and Cleaning 

Part I. Dress 

Chap. III. Hemp, Jute 
IV. Floorcloth and Wa 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Tailors and Bootmakers 
II. Hatters 

III. Milliners, Dress and 
Shirt Makers 

Chap. IV. Trimmings, Artif^ 

Flowers, &c. 
V. Drapers, Ilosiers, 

Part II. Food and Drink 

Chap. IV. Milksellers 

V. Butchers and F 
VI. Grocers, Oil 

VIl. Publicans and Co 
House Keepers 

Part III, Dealers and Clerks 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Millers, Sugar Refiners, 
II. Brewers and Tobacco 

III. Bakers and Confec- 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Shopkeepers and Gen- 
eral Dealers 

Chap. II. Costers and Stp 
III. Merchants and Cle 

Part IV. Locomotion, &c. 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Cab and Omnibus Ser- 
II. Carmen 

Part V. 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. The Docks and Wharves 
II. Coal Porters and Gas 

Chap. III. Railway Work 
IV. Gardeners, &c. 
V. Merchant Seam^ 
and Lightermei 


Chap. III. Warehousemen 

IV. Undefined Labou 


Part I. Public Service and Professional Classes 

Chap. IV. Law and Medicine 
V. Art and Amusement 
VI. Literature and Edaca- 
VIL Religion 

Part II. Domestic Service 

Preliminary Statsmbnt 
Chat. I. Civil and Municipal 
II. Municipal Labour, &c 
III. Soldiers and Police 

Preliminary Statement 
Chap. I. Household Service, &c. 

Chap. IL Extra Service 

Part III. The " Unoccupied " Classes 

Persons living on own Means, Pensioners, Retired, &c. 

Part IV. Inmates of Institutions, &c. 

Chap. I. Occupations 

II. Pauperism at Stepney 
III. A Picture of Pauper- 

Chap. IV. A Picture of Pauperism 


Appendix. Summary of Stories of 

Stepney Pauperism 

VOL. V. 
Part I. Comparisons 

Chap. I. Crowding and Apparent 
II. Crowding and Earnings 

III. Bom in and out of Lon- 

don and Living in 
Inner or Outer Circle 

IV. Size and Constitution of 

the Census Family 

Chap. V. Age Distribution of 
the Occupied Classes 
(illustrated by dia- 
VI. Status as to Emplo 

VII. Increasing and De- 
creasing Trades 

Part II. Survey and Conclusions 

Chap. I. Characteristics of 
Modem Industry 
II. London as a Centre of 
Trade and Industry 

III. The Localization and 

Diffusion of Trades 

IV. Large and Small 

Systems of Produc- 
tion and Employment 

V. Characteristics & Train- 
ing of London Labour 

VI. Trade Unions 

Chap. VII. The Hours of Labour 
VIII. Methods of Remu- 
neration : Time 
and Piece Work. 
IX. Irregularity of Earn- 
X. Rates of Wages 
XL llie Choice of Em- 
XII. Industrial Remedies 
XIII. Expenditure and the 
Standard of Life 



Third Series: Religious Influences 

VOL. I. 

London North of the Thames: 

The Outer Ring 


Chapter I. Outer East London 
(JVith Sketch Map) 

(i) General Character 

(2) The Response to Religion 

(3) The Church of England 

(4) Other Religious Work 

(5) Special Areas 

(6) Policep Drink, and Disoide 

(7) Marriage and Thrift 

(8) Hoasing and Transit 

(9) Local Administration 

Coloured Maps with Notes and List of Places of JVbrship 

Chapter II. The North East 
(JVith Sketch Map) 

(5) Areas of Special Difficulty 

(6) Social Initiative of Religion! 

(7) Police, Drink^ and Pleasun 

(8) Local Administration 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of IVorship 

(i) Hackney: Past and Present 

(2) The Response to Religion 

(3) Church-going and Working 


(4) Local Details of Religious 


Chapter III. North London 
(JVith Sketch Map) 

(i) General Description 

(2) Middle-class Religious De- 


(3) Evangelical Work and 


(4) Special Areas and their Treat 

(5) Religion and Class 

(6) Local Administiation 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of Worship 



Chapter IV. The North-West 
(JVith Sketch Map) 

(i) Complication of Class 

(2) Highgate and Kentish Town 

(3) Camden Town,Regent*s Park 

and Somers Town 

(4) The Housing and Condition 

of the People 

(5) The Lisson Grove Area 

(with coloured map) 

(6) Portland Town 

(7) St. John's Wood and 


(8) Local Administration 

Coloured Maps with Notes and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter V. Illustrations 


London North of the Thames : 

The Inner Ring 

Chapter I. Whitechapel and St. George's East 

(JVith Sketch Map) 

(5) The Roman Catholics 

(i) Changes 

(2) Spitalfields 

(3) Whitechapel 

(4) St. Greorge*s - in - the - East, 

Wapping and Shadwell 

(6) Charitable Agencies 

(7) Other Methods 

(8) Local Administration 

(9) Summary 

Chapter II. Bethnal Green, Haggerston, &c. 

{IVith Sketch Map) 

(i) The Boundary Street Area 

(2) Other Portions of Bethnal 


(3) Oxford House 

(4) Religious Work in Haggers- 
ton, &c. 

(5) Standard of Life 

(6) Public Buildings and Local 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter III. Hoj;roN, St. Luke's and Clerkenwell 

uh Sketch Map) 

(3) Clerkenwell 



(i) Hoxton 
(2) St. Luke's 

(4) Local Administration 

Coloured Map with Notes and lAst of Places of Worship 




I i 




Chapter IV. West-Central London 
{mth Sketch Map) 

(3) Russell Square to Lau] 

(4) Local Administration 
Coloured Map uiih Notes and List of Places of ff^orship 

Chapter V. Illustrations 

(i) West of Gray's Inn Road 
(2) South of Oxford Street and 

Holbom, East of Regent 



The City of London and the West E 

Par^ I. The City 

Chapter I. The Churches 
(With Sketch Map) 

Chapter II. A Suggestion 

Chapter III. Illustrations 

List of Places of JVorskip 

Part II. The West 

Chapter I. Westminster and South Pimlic^ 

{With Sketch Map) 

(1) Old Westminster | (2) South Pimlico 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of IFbrship 

Chapter IL The Inner West 
{With Sketch Map) 

(i) General Plan 

(2) May fair 

(3) Marylebone and Bayswater 

(4) Kensington 

(«)) Brompton and Belgravi 

(6) Chelsea 

(7) Paddington 

(8) Local Administration 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of JVorskip 



Chapter IIL The Outer West 
(JVUh Sketch Map) 

(i) Introdactoxy 

(2) Kensal New Town 

(3) Queen's Park 

(4) Kensington Park 

(5) A Piece of Unbuilt London 

(6) NottingDale 

(7) Local Administration 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter IV. The Outer West {continued) 

(i) Shepherd's Bush and Ham- 
(2) Fulham 

(.3) Local Administration 
(4) London, North of 


Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter V. Illustrations. West London 
Chapter VI. Illustrations. North of Thames 



Inner South London 

Chapter I. West Southward and North Lambeth 

{With Sketch Map) 

(1) Introductory 

(2) From the Borough to Black- 

friars Road 

(3) From Blackfriars Road to 


(4) Lambeth Road to Vauxhall 

(5) Side Lights 

(6) Local Administration 

Chapter II. Newington and Walworth 

{JVith Sketch Map) 

(i) The Church of England 

(2) The Baptists 

(3) Wesleyan and other Method- 


(4) Congregationalists 

(5) Independent Missions 

(6) More Side Lights 

(7) Local Administration 

Chapter III. Bermondsey 
{mth Sketch Map) 

(i) Comparative Poverty 

(2) Four Poor Parishes 

(3) Nonconformists and Mis- 

sions in the same area 

(4) Conditions of Life 

(5) The Riverside 

(6) Remainder of the District 

(7) Local Administration 


Chapter IV. Rotherhithe 
{m^ Sketch Map) 

(.1) Round the Docks 

(4) South of the Park 

(5) Local Administration 
Coloured Map tinlh Notes and List of Flexes of Worship 

Chapters V. and VI. Illustrations 

(i) The Riverside North of the 

(2) TheNeighbooifaoodofSotith- 

wark Park 

VOL. V. 
South-East and South-West London 

Part I. The South-East 

Chapter I. Dkptford 
(JVtlh SktKk Map) 

(i) General Character 
(3) Old Deptford Parishes 
(3) Newer Deptford 

I (4) The Southern and Wes 

I (5) Local Administration 

(1) Opening 

(a) The Poor Part of West 

(3) The Remainder of West 


Chapter II. Greenwich 
{With Sketch Map) 

(4) East Greenwich 

(5) East Greenwich (coniii 

(6) Local Administration 

Coloured Map ivilh Notes and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter III. Woolwich, etc. 
(With Sketch Map) 

(i) Charlton 

(3) Three Aspects of Woolwich 

(3) ReligionsEffortin Woolwich 

(4) Plumstead 

(5) Various Opinions 

(6) Social Influences 

(7) Local Administration 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter IV. Illustrations 


Part II. The South - West 

{With Sketch Map) 
Chapter L Battersea 

(3) Old Battersea and the River- 

(4) Local Administration 

(i) Nine £lms and the Neigh- 

(2) From Battersea Park to 
Lavender Hill 

Chapter IL Clapham 

(i) From the Religious Point of 

(2) FromtheHome Point of View 

(3) Clapham to Kennington 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of JVorship 

Chapter HL Wandsworth and Putney 

(x) The Valley of the Wandle (3) Local Administration 

(2) Putney 

Coloured Map with Notes and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter IV, Illustrations 


Outer South London 

Chapter L The Belt of Crowding and Poverty 

(4) The Poor Part of Camberwell 

(i) The Whole District 

(2) North and West of Clapham 


(3) The Sultan Street Area 

(5) The Belt of Crowding and 
Poverty (continued) 

Chapter IL Beyond the Belt of Crowding- 
Southward TO THE Hills 

(i) From Clapham Road to the (a) Soath of Peckham Road 
S. £. and Chatham Railway 


Chapter III. Further South 

(4) Social Condition 

(5) Local Admidstration 

(i) The Western Side 
(a) The Eastern Side 
(3) The Concourse on Pedcham 

Sketch Map, and Coloured Map tinik Noies and Usi 0/ Placet 

0/ Worship 

Chapter IV. Outlying Southern Suburbs 
The Western Portion 
{ff'ith Sketch Map) 

(i) FromRoehamptontoBalham 

(2) From Balham to Upper 


(3) Summers Town and Toot- 

ing Graveney 

(4) Streatham 

(5) Tnlse HiU and BrockweH 

(6) Norwood 

(7) Dulwidi 

General Notes on District and List tf Places of Worship 

Chapter V. Outlying Southern Suburbs 
The Eastern Portion 
(JVith Sketch Map) 

(i) Sydenham, Anerley and 

(2) Brockley and Forest Hill 

(3) Lewisham 

(4) Blackheath, Lee and Eltham 
(j) Local Administration 

General Notes on District and List of Places of Worship 

Chapter VI. Illustrations 

Appendix to Vols. I. to VL 

Statistics. — Sex, Birthplace and Industrial Status of Heads of 
Families, and Social Classification, by Registration Districts or 

General Index 


VOL. vn. 

Summary of Religious Influences 

Chapter L The Church of England 

IL Illustrations (Church of England) 

III. The Nonconformist Bodies 

IV. Illustrations (Nonconformists) 

V. The Roman Catholic Church (with 

VI. Mission Work 

VII. Illustrations (Mission Work) 

VIII. Other Religious Effort (with Illus* 


IX. Settlements and Polytechnics 
X. Aspects of Religion 
XI. Position of Religion in London 


Conclusion and Summary 

Part I. Some Comparisons 

II. Notes on Social Influences 

III. Notes on Administration 

IV. Conclusion 

Appendix. — Summary of Contents of Entire Series 

Map of Inner London — showing Places of Worship, 
Elementary Schools and Public Houses. 







Special jinnouiiceineiit (1902 



The nine volumes previously published havi 
REVISEDy and are now issued bound uni 
with the Eight new volumes^ the complete work 
arranged in three series^ with a Final Volui 
under : — 

First Series: ••Poverty" .... 

In 4 Volumes 

Second Series: ••Industry" • • • f Pric 

In 5 Volumes [ per v 

1 63Ci] 

Third Series : •' Reli^rious Influences " . ( „^^ 

In 7 Volumes I sepai 

^ A Concluding: Volume . 

' (To be issued shortly) 



^^ f iliii ^M 





(650) 723-9201 

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